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Study finds cardiorespiratory fitness improves reading and math grades

HTrent Petrie, professor of psychologyaving a healthy heart and lungs may be one of the most important factors for middle school students to make good grades in math and reading, according to findings presented at the American Psychological Association’s 120th Annual Convention.

“Cardiorespiratory fitness was the only factor that we consistently found to have an impact on both boys’ and girls’ grades on reading and math tests,” said study co-author Trent A. Petrie, right, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Sport Psychology. “This provides more evidence that schools need to re-examine any policies that have limited students’ involvement in physical education classes.”

The researchers gathered data at five Texas middle schools from 1,211 students. The study also examined self-esteem, social support and socio-economic factors.

Co-authors of Physical Fitness and Academic Performance: A Longitudinal Investigation, are student Sudhish Srikanth; Christy Greenleaf, associate professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreational studies; Scott Martin, professor of kinesiology, health promotion and recreational studies.

Posted on: Tue 14 August 2012

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