Physical activity and childhood academic achievement: A critical review

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Journal Article

Publication Details

Cacciotti, K., Milne, N., Orr, R. (2015). Physical activity and childhood academic achievement: A critical review. Health Behavior & Policy Review, 2(1), 35-45.

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© Copyright, Health Behavior and Policy Review, 2015




Objectives: Physical activity is thought to have a positive effect on a child’s brain and their ability to learn. This review critically examines literature investigating physical activity and its effects on academic achievement. Methods: Databases, search terms and reference lists were utilized to identify appropriate studies. Relevant studies were evaluated using the Downs and Black checklist. Inter-rater agreement was determined by Krippendorff’s alpha. Results: Ten research studies (mean score of 74%: KAlpha=0.86), including children aged from 6-12 years were retained for evaluation. Conclusions: The review identified that physical activity, delivered in different physical modalities, both during and out of school hours had a favorable effect on academic achievement and cognitive functioning and performance.

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This document has been peer reviewed.