Home > Journals > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness > Past Issues > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 August;59(8) > The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 August;59(8):1397-404

CURRENT ISSUE
 

JOURNAL TOOLS

eTOC
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian
 

ARTICLE TOOLS

Publication history
Reprints
Permissions
Cite this article as

 

ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EPIDEMIOLOGY AND CLINICAL MEDICINE 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 August;59(8):1397-404

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08971-5

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Relationship between aerobic fitness and academic performance: the mediational role of executive function

Silje E. KVALØ 1 , Sindre M. DYRSTAD 1, 2, Edvin BRU 3, Kolbjørn BRØNNICK 2, 4

1 Department of Education and Sport Science, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway; 2 Department of Public Health, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway; 3 Center of Learning Environment, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway; 4 Center for Age-Related Medicine (SESAM), Stavanger University Hospital, Stavanger, Norway



BACKGROUND: This cross-sectional study investigated whether the relationship between aerobic fitness and academic performance was mediated by executive functioning.
METHODS: A total of 378 children (9-10 years old) from nine primary schools in Stavanger, Norway were included. The children’s aerobic fitness was measured by a 10-minute interval-running test; executive function was tested by four cognitive tests (Stroop, Trail Making, Verbal Fluency and Backwards Digit Span). A composite score for executive functions was computed and used in analyses. Academic achievement in reading, mathematics and English was determined using Norwegian national standardized tests.
RESULTS: Bivariate correlation analysis showed the following significant associations: mathematic achievement with executive functions (r=0.48, P=0.001), aerobic fitness with mathematics (r=0.13, P=0.012) and executive functions (r=0.17, P=0.001). A regression-based mediation analysis (PROCESS) with executive function as a mediator variable was conducted. Mediation analysis showed that the relationship between aerobic fitness and mathematic achievement was mediated by executive functions (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Findings revealed an indirect effect of executive function on the positive relationship between aerobic fitness and mathematic achievement.


KEY WORDS: Cognition; Child; Exercise

top of page