The National Benefits Hub

Research that Supports Recreation

← Home

Advanced Search

Physical Fitness and Academic Performance in Youth

Key Message

Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability, both independently and combined, have a beneficial influence on academic performance in youth.


Esteban-Cornejo, Irene, et al. (2014). Independent and Combined Influence of the Components of Physical Fitness on Academic Performance in Youth. The Journal of Pediatrics. 165(2): 306–312.e2. DOI:


To examine the independent and combined associations of the components of physical fitness with academic performance among youths.


Cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability were independently associated with all academic variables in youth, even after adjustment for fitness and fatness indicators (all P ≤ .001), whereas muscular strength was not associated with academic performance independent of the other 2 physical fitness components. In addition, the combined adverse effects of low cardiorespiratory capacity and motor ability on academic performance were observed across the risk groups (P for trend <.001).

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

Get Updates By Email