Opin vísindi

Organized leisure-time sport participation and academic achievement in preadolescents

Organized leisure-time sport participation and academic achievement in preadolescents

Title: Organized leisure-time sport participation and academic achievement in preadolescents
Author: Sævarsson, Elvar Smári
Svansdottir, Erla   orcid.org/0000-0001-6783-3195
Sveinsson, Thorarinn   orcid.org/0000-0001-8989-5514
Asgeirsdottir, Tinna Laufey   orcid.org/0000-0001-8611-3417
Arngrímsson, Sigurbjörn Árni
Johannsson, Erlingur
Date: 2017-06-30
Language: English
Scope: 861-868
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Menntavísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Education (UI)
Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Health Sciences (UI)
Félagsvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Social Sciences (UI)
Department: Miðstöð í lýðheilsuvísindum (HÍ)
The Centre of Public Health Sciences (UI)
Rannsóknarstofa í hreyfivísindum (HÍ)
Research Centre for Movement Sciences (UI)
Hagfræðideild (HÍ)
Faculty of Economics (UI)
Series: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health;45(8)
ISSN: 1403-4948
1651-1905 (eISSN)
DOI: 10.1177/1403494817705560
Subject: Physical activity; Children; Exercise; Academic performance; Preadolescent; Learning; Hreyfing (heilsurækt); Líkamsrækt; Börn; Ungt fólk; Nám
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1043

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Sævarsson, E. S., Svansdottir, E., Sveinsson, T., Asgeirsdottir, T. L., Arngrimsson, S. A., & Johannsson, E. (2017). Organized leisure-time sport participation and academic achievement in preadolescents. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 45(8), 861–868. https://doi.org/10.1177/1403494817705560


Aims: The aims of this study were to study the correlation between lifestyle-related factors, such as organized leisure-time sport participation (OLSP), cardiorespiratory fitness, and adiposity, and academic achievement among preadolescents. Methods: A cross-sectional study involving 248 nine-year-old school children was carried out. OLSP was self-reported with parental assistance, categorized as ≤ 1× a week, 2–3× a week, and ≥ 4× times a week or more. Academic achievement was estimated with results from standardized test scores in Icelandic and math. Cardiorespiratory fitness was estimated using a maximal cycle ergometer test. The sum of four skinfolds was used to estimate adiposity. Results: Tests of between-subjects effect indicated that OLSP significantly correlated with achievement in math only (F(2,235) = 3.81, p = 0.024). Further analysis showed that the two less active groups had significantly lower scores in math compared to the most active group with OLSP ≥ 4× times a week or more (2–3× times a week, unstandardized coefficient (b) = –4.08, 95% confidence interval (CI) [–7.09, –1.07]; ≤ 1× a week, b = −3.84, 95% CI [–7.59, –0.08]), independent of sex, age, maturity level (age to/from peak height velocity), family structure, and parental education. Neither cardiorespiratory fitness nor adiposity significantly correlated with academic achievements. Conclusions: The study’s result indicates that frequent (four times per week or more often) sport participation is not harmful but may be beneficial to learning. However, further intervention-based study of this topic is needed to determine if this relationship is causal.


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