Journal of Physical Activity Research
ISSN (Print): 2576-1919 ISSN (Online): 2574-4437 Website: Editor-in-chief: Peter Hart
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Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2021, 6(2), 112-121
DOI: 10.12691/jpar-6-2-8
Open AccessArticle

Evaluating Associations between Physical Activity and Growth, Academic Attainment, and Socioeconomic Factors in Primary School Children - A Prospective Cohort Study

McCluskey M1, 2, , Al-shallawi AN3, Penk D4, Bridges J5, Gilson N6, Hermens H7, Buurke J7, 8 and Pandyan A9

1School of Health Sciences, Institute of Population Health, University of Liverpool, UK

2Twente Graduate School, University of Twente, Enschede

3The Department of Electronic Management Technology, Northern Technical University, Iraq

4Sutherland Primary Academy, Stoke on Trent, UK

5Stoke on Trent City Council, UK

6Education Through the Physical, UK

7Roessingh Research and Development, Enschede, the Netherlands

8Biomedical Signals and Systems, TechMed Centre, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands

9School of Allied Health Professions, Keele University, UK

Pub. Date: September 28, 2021

Cite this paper:
McCluskey M, Al-shallawi AN, Penk D, Bridges J, Gilson N, Hermens H, Buurke J and Pandyan A. Evaluating Associations between Physical Activity and Growth, Academic Attainment, and Socioeconomic Factors in Primary School Children - A Prospective Cohort Study. Journal of Physical Activity Research. 2021; 6(2):112-121. doi: 10.12691/jpar-6-2-8


Aim: Previous research has shown that physical activity is positively associated with growth and academic attainment in primary school children. The aim of this study was to determine if this association is repeated and to identify differences in personal, social, and environmental factors that contribute to physical activity and academic attainment. Methods: Physical activity status was determined using the PAQ-C and measurements of mass and height were recorded and BMI calculated. Academic attainment was measured using nationally standardised end of year tests. Participants completed the Newcastle Food School Study questionnaire. Parents of participants provided information on their education, family income, profession and completed the ALPHA Environment Questionnaire. A Chi-square test of homogeneity and Independent Samples T Tests were used to determine if differences exist between children who were more or less active. Based upon these results, significant predictors were selected and included in a logistic regression model in to analyse their ability to predict educational attainment. Results: The mean of the mass children who were more active followed the growth expected trajectory, whereas those who were less active demonstrated a loss in mass at the January measurement. Children who were more active were 27.72 and 12.59 times more likely to achieve average or above performance in literacy and reading than less active children. In mathematics, children whose parents worked in professional occupations, were 28.38 times more likely to achieve average or above than those with manual occupations. There were no significant differences between children in personal, social and environmental factors. Conclusion: This study confirms previous findings which reported that there does appear to be an association between physical activity and body mass and academic performance in primary school children, with lower levels of reported physical activity being associated with negative effects.

physical activity children primary school growth academic attainment

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