Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Academic Performance

“Results indicate a consistent positive relationship between overall fitness and academic achievement. That is, as overall fitness scores improved, mean achievement (SAT) scores also improved.” (Grissom, J.B. “Physical Fitness and Academic Achievement” – California Department of Education 2005)
“Physical activity is positively associated with academic performance.” (Dwyer, Blizzard and Dean, 1996)

“A Student’s health is a significant factor in their academic performance.” (Schoener, Guerrero & Whitney 1998; Kelly and Moag-Stahlberg 2002; Hendy, 2000; Jenson, 2000; and Irandoust & Karlsson, 2002)

“Providing physical activity, healthy food choices, and good wellness role models at school improves student overall health and academic performance.” (Connell, Turner & Mason, 1985)

“Daily physical activity has been shown to lead to lower disciplinary issues.” (Kolbe, 1986; Botvin, Griffin, Hill-Williams, 2001: Field, Diego & Sanders, 2001)

“Physical activity triggers chemical changes in the brain that promote learning.” (Gage, 1999)

“School- based physical activity programs increased concentration, improved math, reading and writing scores and reduced disruptive behavior.” (Kolbe, LJ, Appropriate Function of Health Education Schools, Child Health Behavior: A Behavioral Pediatrics Perspective, New York, NY, John Wiley 1986)

“Students who met minimum fitness levels in three or more physical fitness areas showed the greatest gains in academic achievement.” California Dept. of Education, 2002.

Reading and math scores of third and fourth grade students who received comprehensive health education were significantly higher than those who did not receive comprehensive health education.” (Schoener, Guerrero and Whitney, 1988)

In a study of two parochial schools, class time for academics was reduced by 240 minutes per week in the experimental group to increase time for physical activity. Yet, math test scores were consistently higher for this group than for a group that did not have increased time for physical activity.” (Shephard, RJ, “Required Physical Activity and Academic Grades,” Children and Sport, 1984, 58-63)

“Students who participate in exercise regularly are less depressed, used drugs less frequently, had higher attendance levels at school and have higher grade point averages than students who do not have regular physical activity.” (Field & Sanders, 2001)

“Students who participate in health education classes that use effective curricula increase their health knowledge and improve their health skills and behaviors.” (Connell, Turner, Mason, 1985)

“Students in health education classes also decrease risky behaviors . . . .” (Botvin, Griffin, Hill-Williams, 2001)

“73 percent of adults from a nationally representative sample felt that health education in schools was definitely necessary.” (Mid-Continent Research for Education and Learning Survey, 1998)

“82 percent of parents from a nationally representative sample felt that health education is either more than or as important as other subjects taught in school.” (Marzano RJ, Kendall JS and Cicchinelli LF, 1999)

“Poor nutrition and lack of physical activity lead to lower academic achievement.” “Studies show that when children’s basic nutritional needs are met they have the cognitive energy to achieve and learn.” (Ali Kamen, 2006)

“Linking health and learning is a way to ensure a comprehensive approach to educating the whole child.” (Laitsch, Lewallen, & McCloskey, 2005)

“Research indicated that activities that positively enrich both mental and physical process promote the positive development of the whole system.” (New York Academic Press, 1981)

“Most students in poor health that have difficulty learning.” (Smith, 2003)

“A study published online in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that the time spent in physical education classes does not detract from elementary school students’ academic achievement and my boost girls test scores.” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2007)

“The available evidence shows that children who are physically active and fit tend to perform better in the classroom.” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2008)

“Students whose time in PE or school-based physical activity was increases maintained or improved their grades and scores on standardized achievement tests, even though they received less classroom instructional time then students in control groups.” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2007)

“Adolescents who reported either participating in school activities, such a PE and team sports, or playing sports with their parents, were 20 percent more likely then their sedentary peers to earn an “A” in math or English.” (Nelson MC, Gordon-Larson P, 2006)

“Introducing physical activity has been shown to improve cognitive performance and promote on-task classroom behavior.” (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, 2007)

“Improving student health can increase students’ capacity to learn, reduce absenteeism, and improve physical fitness and mental alertness.” (Allington, 2001)

“10 percent of students at the elementary level, 25 percent in middle school and 30 percent of high school students started school without breakfast.” “Emotional and academic problems were more prevalent in hungry children. Aggression and anxiety had the strongest degree of association with hunger.” (Allington, 2001)

“Children who participate in vigorous physical activity, such as sports, perform better in school.” “The most active kids’ most often have better grades.” (ACMS, 2006)

“Physical education and activity during the school day may reduce boredom and help keep kids attention in the classroom.” (ACMS, 2006)

“Students that maintained a higher level of physical activity maintained higher grades and learned faster then those students who were less physically active.” (Byrd, 2007)

“…found that extending physical education (from 2 days per week to daily) was associated positively with academic achievement (math, reading, and writing test scores). That study also noted positive associations for attention, an indicator of cognitive functioning, although the relationships dissipated over time…found that coordination exercises (i.e., exercises that require the body to balance, react, adjust, and/or differentiate) were more beneficial than normal sport lessons in boosting cognitive functioning
(specifically, concentration and attention)…” (CDC, 2010)

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