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Exercise Boosts Academic Performance in Adolescents
Beneficial effects observed with both cross-sectional and longitudinal measurements

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Objectively measured physical activity is positively associated with academic achievement in adolescents, according to research published online Oct. 22 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

In an effort to assess the association between physical activity and academic attainment, Josie N. Booth, Ph.D., of the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, U.K., and colleagues analyzed data from a sample of 4,755 adolescents (45 percent male) participating in a longitudinal study.

The researchers found that, after controlling for total volume of physical activity, the percentage of time spent doing moderate-to-vigorous exercise predicted better performance in English assessments in girls and boys. The percentage of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity predicted increased performance in mathematics at age 16 in girls and boys. For girls, the percentage of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity at 11 years predicted increased science scores at age 11 and age 16.

"Evidence from this large-scale population study confirms the long-term positive impact of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on academic attainment in adolescence," the authors write. "Findings should provide greater impetus for school-based physical activity promotion."

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