Physical Activity and Student Performance at School


  • Howard Taras

  • Howard Taras, MD, Professor, School of Medicine, (, Division of Community Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego, Gilman Drive, #0927, La Jolla, CA 92093-0927. This article is 1 of 6 articles that are part of a project of the National Coordinating Committee on School Health and Safety (NCCSHS). This NCCSHS project was funded by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Education, and US Department of Agriculture. Opinions expressed in this manuscript are not necessarily shared by these federal agencies or other institutions that comprise NCCSHS membership.


Abstract: To review the state of research on the association between physical activity among school-aged children and academic outcomes, the author reviewed published studies on this topic. A table includes brief descriptions of each study's research methodology and outcomes. A review of the research demonstrates that there may be some short-term improvements of physical activity (such as on concentration) but that long-term improvement of academic achievement as a result of more vigorous physical activity is not well substantiated. The relationship between physical activity in children and academic outcomes requires further elucidation. (J Sch Health. 2005;75(6):214-218)