Study Proves Physically Fit Kids Perform Better Academically
NASPE (National Association for Sport And Physical
Education) commends the California Department of Education (CDE) for its study
(released on December 10, 2002) that shows a distinct relationship between
academic achievement and physical fitness of California's public school students.
The research study matched scores from the spring 2001
administration of the Stanford Achievement Test given as part of California's Standardized Testing and Reporting Program, with results of the
state-mandated physical fitness test, known as the Fitnessgram, given in 2001 to
students in grades five, seven, and nine. The Fitnessgram, developed by
the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, assesses six major health-related
areas of physical fitness including aerobic capacity (cardiovascular endurance),
body composition (percentage of body fat), abdominal strength and endurance,
trunk strength and flexibility, upper body strength and endurance, and overall
score of 6 indicates that a student is in the healthy fitness zone in all six
performance areas, and meets standards to be considered physically fit.
In the study, reading and mathematics scores were
matched with fitness scores of 353,000 fifth graders, 322,000 seventh graders,
and 279,000 ninth graders. The bar graphs for each grade level show a
significant relationship between the two types of scores that were matched.
Key findings of the study are:
This statewide study provides compelling evidence that the physical well-being of students has a direct impact on their ability to achieve academically. We now have the proof we've been looking for: students achieve best when they are physically fit.
years ago, the Greeks ("Kalos kai aghatos") and the
Latins ("Mens sana in corpore sano") understood the
importance of improving spirit, mind, and body. The research presented
here validates their philosophic approach with scientific data.