Objectively Measured Physical Activity During Physical Education and School Recess and Their Associations With Academic Performance in Youth: The UP&DOWN Study

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

This study examined the associations of objectively measured physical activity in Physical Education and recess with academic performance in youth.

Methods:

This cross-sectional study was conducted with 1,780 participants aged 6 to 18 years (863 girls). Physical activity was objectively measured by accelerometry and was also classified according to sex- and agespecific quartiles of physical activity intensities. Academic performance was assessed through school records.

Results:

Physical activity in physical education (PE) and recess was not associated with academic performance (β ranging from –0.038 to –0.003; all P > .05). Youth in the lowest quartile of physical activity in PE engaged in an average of 1.40 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and those in the highest quartile engaged in 21.60 min (for recess: lowest quartile, 2.20 min; highest quartile, 11.15 min). There were no differences in academic performance between quartiles of physical activity in Physical Education and recess.

Conclusions:

Time spent at different physical activity intensities during PE and recess does not impair academic performance in youth.

Esteban-Cornejo is with the Dept of Physical Education and Sport, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. Martinez-Gomez is with the Dept of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Movement, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Garcia-Cervantes and Veiga are with the Dept of Physical Education, Sport, and Human Movement, Autonomous University of Madrid, Madrid, Spain. Ortega is with the Unit for Preventive Nutrition, Dept of Biosciences and Nutrition, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and the PROFITH (PROmoting FITness and Health through physical activity) Research Group, Dept of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Spain. Delgado-Alfonso and Castro-Piñero are with the Dept of Physical Education, University of Cadiz, Cádiz, Spain.

Esteban-Cornejo (ireneesteban@ugr.es) is corresponding author.