The Association of Health-Related Fitness and Chronic Absenteeism Status in New York City Middle School Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $115.00

1 year subscription

USD  $153.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $218.00

2 year subscription

USD  $285.00

Background: Extensive research demonstrates the benefits of fitness on children’s health and academic performance. Although decreases in health-related fitness may increase school absenteeism, multiple years of prospective, child-level data are needed to examine whether fitness changes predict subsequent chronic absenteeism status. Methods: Six cohorts of New York City public school students were followed from grades 5–8 (2006/2007–2012/2013; N = 349,381). A longitudinal 3-level logistic generalized linear mixed model with random intercepts was used to test the association of individual children’s changes in fitness and 1-year lagged chronic absenteeism. Results: The odds of chronic absenteeism increased 27% [odds ratio (OR) 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.25–1.30], 15% (OR 95% CI, 1.13–1.18), 9% (OR 95% CI, 1.07–1.11), and 1% (OR 95% CI, 0.98–1.04), for students who had a >20% decrease, 10%–20% decrease, <10% increase or decrease, and 10%–20% increase in fitness, respectively, compared with >20% fitness increase. Conclusion: These findings contribute important longitudinal evidence to a cross-sectional literature, demonstrating reductions in youth fitness may increase absenteeism. Given only 25% of youth aged 12–15 years achieve the recommended daily 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity, future work should examine the potential for youth fitness interventions to reduce absenteeism and foster positive attitudes toward lifelong physical activity.

D’Agostino and Wyka are with the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health & Health Policy, New York, NY. D’Agostino is currently with Miami-Dade Dept of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces, Miami, FL. Day and Konty are with the Office of School Health, NYC Dept of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens, NY. Larkin and Saha are with the Office of School Wellness, NYC Dept of Education, Brooklyn, NY.

D’Agostino (Emily.dagostino@miamidade.gov) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Kristjánsson AL, Sigfúsdóttir ID, Allegrante JP. Health behavior and academic achievement among adolescents: the relative contribution of dietary habits, physical activity, body mass index, and self-esteem. Health Educ Behav. 2010;37(1):5164. doi:10.1177/1090198107313481

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Blom LC, Alvarez J, Zhang L, Kolbo J. Associations between health-related physical fitness, academic achievement and selected academic behaviors of elementary and middle school students in the state of Mississippi. J Res Health Phys Educ. 2011;6(1):1319.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Janssen I, Leblanc AG. Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2010;7:40. doi:10.1186/1479-5868-7-40

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Andersen LB, Harro M, Sardinha LB, et al. Physical activity and clustered cardiovascular risk in children: a cross-sectional study (The European Youth Heart Study). Lancet. 2006;368(9532):299304. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69075-2

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Troiano RP, Berrigan D, Dodd KW, Masse LC, Tilert T, McDowell M. Physical activity in the United States measured by accelerometer. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40(1):181188. PubMed doi:10.1249/mss.0b013e31815a51b3

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Van Hecke L, Loyen A, Verloigne M, van der Ploeg HP, Lakerveld J, Deforche B. Variation in population levels of physical activity in European children and adolescents according to cross-European studies: a systematic literature review within DEDIPAC. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2016;13(1):70. doi:10.1186/s12966-016-0396-4

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Allison KR, Adlaf EM, Dwyer JJ, Lysy DC, Irving HM. The decline in physical activity among adolescent students: a cross-national comparison. Can J Public Health. 2007;98(2):97100.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Tomporowski PD, Davis CL, Miller PH, Naglieri JA. Exercise and children’s intelligence, cognition, and academic achievement. Educ Psychol Rev. 2008;20(2):111131. PubMed doi:10.1007/s10648-007-9057-0

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Roby DE. Research on school attendance and student achievement: a study of Ohio schools. Educ Res Quart. 2004;28(1):316.

  • 10.

    Gottfried MA. Evaluating the relationship between student attendance and achievement in urban elementary and middle schools an instrumental variables approach. Am Educ Res J. 2010;47(2):434465. doi:10.3102/0002831209350494

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Baxter SD, Royer JA, Hardin JW, Guinn CH, Devlin CM. The relationship of school absenteeism with body mass index, academic achievement, and socioeconomic status among fourth-grade children. J Sch Health. 2011;81(7):417423. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00610.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Sheldon SB, Epstein JL. Getting students to school: using family and community involvement to reduce chronic absenteeism. Sch Commun J. 2004;14(2):39.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Filozof EM, Albertin HK, Jones CR, Steme SS, Myers L, McDermott RJ. Relationship of adolescent self-esteem to selected academic variables. J Sch Health. 1998;68(2):6872. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.1998.tb07194.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Balfanz R, Byrnes V. Chronic Absenteeism: Summarizing What We Know From Nationally Available Data. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Social Organization of Schools; 2012.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Balfanz R, Byrnes V. Meeting The Challenge of Combating Chronic Absenteeism: Impact of the NYC Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Chronic Absenteeism and School Attendance and Its Implications for Other Cities. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Social Organization of Schools; 2013.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Nauer K, Mader M, Robinson G, Jacobs T. A Better Picture of Poverty: What Chronic Absenteeism and Risk Load Reveal About NYC’s Lowest-Income Elementary Schools. New York, NY: Center for New York City Affairs; 2014.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Gottfried MA. Chronic absenteeism and its effects on students’ academic and socioemotional outcomes. J Educ Stud Placed Risk. 2014;19(2):5375. doi:10.1080/10824669.2014.962696

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Albouy V, Lequien L. Does compulsory education lower mortality? J Health Econ. 2009;28(1):155168. PubMed doi:10.1016/j.jhealeco.2008.09.003

  • 19.

    Reynolds AJ, Temple JA, Ou S, et al. Effects of a school-based, early childhood intervention on adult health and well-being. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2007;161(8):730. PubMed doi:10.1001/archpedi.161.8.730

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Mohar LL. Physical Activity Patterns in Missoula Youth. [PhD thesis]. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Dissertation; 2008.

  • 21.

    Welk GJ, Allen JW, Morrow JRJ, Haskell WH, Meredith MD, Cooper KH. The association of health-related fitness with indicators of academic performance in Texas schools. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2010;81(3 suppl):1623. doi:10.1080/02701367.2010.10599690

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Morrow JRJ, Zhu W, Franks DB, Meredith MD, Spaine C. 1958–2008: 50 years of youth fitness tests in the United States. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2009;80(1):111. PubMed

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Plowman SA, Meredith MD. FITNESSGRAM Reference Guide. 4th ed. Dallas, TX: The Cooper Institute; 2013.

  • 24.

    Behold CP, Konty KJ, Day SE, et al. The effects of changes in physical fitness on academic performance among New York City youth. J Adolesc Health. 2014;55(6):774781. doi:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2014.06.006

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 25.

    Allison KR, Adlaf EM. Structured opportunities for student physical activity in Ontario elementary and secondary schools. Can J Public Health. 2000;91(5):371. PubMed

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Grauer SR. Small versus large schools: the truth about equity, cost, and diversity of programming in small and large schools. Community Works Journal. 2017. http://www.communityworksinstitute.org/cwjonline/essays/a_essaystext/grauer_smallsch1.html.  Accessed March 8, 2017.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Selecting and applying a standard area-based socioeconomic status measure for public health data: analysis for New York City. 2013. http://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/epi/epiresearch-SES-measure.pdf. Accessed February 14, 2018.

    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    US Census Bureau, US Department of Commerce. American Community Survey (ACS). 2017. https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/. Accessed April 20, 2016.

    • Export Citation
  • 29.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2000 CDC growth charts for the United States: methods and development. 2002. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/series/sr_11/sr11_246.pdf. Accessed March 20, 2017.

    • PubMed
    • Export Citation
  • 30.

    New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Childhood obesity is a serious concern in New York City: higher levels of fitness associated with better academic performance. 2009. Report No. 1. https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/survey/survey-2009fitnessgram.pdf. Accessed February 14, 2018

    • Export Citation
  • 31.

    Stryhn H, Sanchez J, Morley P, Booker C, Dohoo IR. Interpretation of variance parameters in multilevel Poisson regression models. Poster presented at: Proceedings of the 11th International Symposium on Veterinary Epidemiology and Economics; August 2006. Cairns, Australia.

    • Export Citation
  • 32.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Association Between School Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2010.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 33.

    Langford R, Bonell CP, Jones HE, et al. The WHO Health Promoting School framework for improving the health and well-being of students and their academic achievement. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(4):CD008958.

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 34.

    Fedewa AL, Ahn S. The effects of physical activity and physical fitness on children’s achievement and cognitive outcomes: a meta-analysis. Res Q Exerc Sport. 2011;82(3):521535. PubMed doi:10.1080/02701367.2011.10599785

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 35.

    Castelli DM, Hillman CH, Buck SM, Erwin HE. Physical fitness and academic achievement in third- and fifth-grade students. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2007;29:239252. PubMed doi:10.1123/jsep.29.2.239

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 36.

    London RA, Castrechini S. A longitudinal examination of the link between youth physical fitness and academic achievement. J Sch Health. 2011;81(7):400408. PubMed doi:10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00608.x

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 37.

    Welk GJ, Meredith MD, Ihmels M, Seeger C. Distribution of health-related physical fitness in Texas youth: a demographic and geographic analysis. Res Quart Exerc Sport. 2010;81(3 suppl):S6S15 . doi:10.1080/02701367.2010.10599689

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 38.

    Sutphen RD, Ford JP, Flaherty C. Truancy interventions: a review of the research literature. Res Soc Work Pract. 2010;20(2):161171. doi:10.1177/1049731509347861

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 39.

    Musser MP. Taking Attendance Seriously: How School Absences Undermine Student and School Performance in New York City. New York, NY: Campaign for Fiscal Equity, Inc; 2011.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 40.

    Dunn LL, Venturanza JA, Walsh RJ, Nonas CA. An observational evaluation of move-to-improve, a classroom-based physical activity program, New York City schools, 2010. Prev Chronic Dis. 2012;9:E146. doi:10.5888/pcd9.120072

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 41.

    New York City Department of Education. About CHAMPS. 2018. http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/Wellness/WhatWeOffer/NycFitnessgram/NYCFITNESSGRAM.htm. Accessed September 28, 2017.

    • Export Citation
  • 42.

    Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The relationship between school absenteeism and health: Health Policy Snapshot Series. 2016. https://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2016/09/the-relationship-between-school-attendance-and-health.html. Accessed February 14, 2018

    • Export Citation
  • 43.

    Ortega FB, Artero EG, Ruiz JR, et al. Reliability of health-related physical fitness tests in European adolescents. The HELENA study. Int J Obes. 2008;32(suppl 5):S49S57. doi:10.1038/ijo.2008.183

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 44.

    New York City Department of Education. NYC FITNESSGRAM: for teachers. 2018. http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/Wellness/WhatWeTeach/PhysicalEducation/default.htm. Accessed February 14, 2018.

    • Export Citation
  • 45.

    New York City Department of Education. NYC FITNESSGRAM. 2018. http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/Wellness/WhatWeOffer/NycFitnessgram/NYCFITNESSGRAM.htm. Accessed April 14, 2018.

    • Export Citation
  • 46.

    World Health Organization. Global strategy on diet, physical activity and health. 2004. www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/strategy/eb11344/en/. Accessed February 14, 2018.

    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 215 202 8
Full Text Views 8 6 0
PDF Downloads 4 4 0