Share This Article:

The relationship between physical activity, body mass index, and academic performance and college-age students

DOI: 10.4236/ojepi.2013.31002    7,319 Downloads   15,419 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: The purpose of this study was to determine if a relationship exists between physical activity or Body Mass Index (BMI) and academic performance in college-age students. Both physical activity and BMI have shown to impact academic performance in younger students, but data for college-age students is limited. Methods: Between October and December 2006, data were collected from 98 biochemistry students at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Analysis was performed on 77 students who had complete outcome data. Physical activity measures were categorized to reflect those who met and those who did not meet the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommendations for physical activity [1]. BMI was calculated from each student’s height and weight recordings. Academic performance was determined by each student’s cumulative college Grade Point Average (GPA) and score on the ACT examination. The means were compared using test for two groups and general linear models. Where statistically significant results existed, groups were compared using the Tukey multi-test procedure. A one-sample comparison of means was conducted for fitness between our sample and the age-matched American population as stated by the Healthy People 2010 Report [1]. Results: Students in the normal BMI category had significantly higher GPA and ACT scores than students in the overweight category. Juniors had significantly higher GPA and ACT scores than seniors. Our findings did not differ between our sample and the American population with regards to recommendations for fitness by the CDC and ACSM. Conclusions This study demonstrated that normal weight individuals, had higher GPA and ACT scores than their overweight counterparts, underscoring the need to intensify interventions focused on reducing and preventing obesity among school-age populace.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Franz, D. and Feresu, S. (2013) The relationship between physical activity, body mass index, and academic performance and college-age students. Open Journal of Epidemiology, 3, 4-11. doi: 10.4236/ojepi.2013.31002.

References

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011) Physical activity and fitness. Healthy people 2020: Physical activity. http://healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicid=33
[2] Kim, J., Must, A., Fitzmaurice, G.M., Gillman, M.W., Chomitz, V., Kramer, E., McGowan, R., Peterson, K.E. (2005) Relationship of physical fitness to prevalence and incidence of overweight among schoolchildren. Obesity Research, 13, 1246-1254. doi:10.1038/oby.2005.148
[3] Shephard, R.J. (1997) Curricular physical activity and academic performance. Pediatric Exercise Science, 9, 113-126.
[4] Calfas, K.J. and Taylor, W.C. (1999) Effects of physical activity on psychological variables in adolescents. Pediatric Exercise Science, 6, 406-423.
[5] Field, T., Diego, M. and Sanders, C.E. (2001) Exercise is positively related to adolescents’ relationships and academics. Adolescence, 36, 105-110.
[6] Lambourne, K. (2006) The relationship between working memory capacity and physical activity rates in young adults. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 5, 149-153.
[7] Sallis, J.F., McKenzie, T.L., Kolody, B., Lewis, M., Marshal, S. and Rosengard, P. (1990) Effects of health-related physical education on academic achievement: Project SPARK. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 70, 127-134.
[8] Task Force on Community Preventive Services (2000) Recommendations to increase physical activity in communities. HSTAT: Guide to clinical preventive services. 3rd Edition, Recommendations and Systematic Evidence Reviews, Guide to Community Preventive Services. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?call=bv.View..ShowSection&rid=hstat3
[9] Pollock, M.L., Gaesser, G.A., Butcher, J.D., Despres, J.-P., Dishman, R.K., Franklin, B.A., Garber, C.E. (1998) ACSM position stand: The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Med and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30, 975-991. doi:10.1097/00005768-199806000-00032
[10] Bernstein, M.S., Costanza, M.C. and Morabia, A. (2004) Association of physical activity intensity levels with overweight and obesity in a population-based sample of adults. Preventive Medicine, 38, 94-104. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2003.09.032
[11] Pietilainen, K.H., Kaprio, J., Borg, P., Plasqui, G., Yki-Jarvinen, H., Kujala, U.M., Rose, R.J., Westerterp, K.R. and Rissanen, A. (2007) Physical inactivity and obesity: A vicious circle. Obesity, 16, 409-414.
[12] Daskapan, A., Tuzun, E.H. and Eker, L. (2006) Perceived barriers to physical activity in university students. Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 5, 615-620.
[13] Symons, C.W. and Cinelli, B. (1997) Bridging student health risks and academic achievement through comprehensive school health programs. Journal of School Health, 67, 220-227.
[14] Coe, D.P., Pivarnik, J.M., Womack, C.J., Reeves, M.J. and Malina, R.M. (2006) Effect of physical education and activity levels on academic achievement in children. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 38, 1515-1519.
[15] Borg, G.A.V. (1982) Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 14, 377-381.
[16] Ogden, C.L., Fryar, C.D., Carroll, M.D. and Flegal, K.M. (2004) Mean body weight, height, and body mass index, United States 1960-2002. www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad347.pdf
[17] Spitzer, T. (2000) Predictors of college success: A comparison of traditional and nontraditional age students. NASPA Journal, 38, 82-98.
[18] Mo Suwan, L., Lebel, L., Puetpaiboon, A. and Junjana, C. (1999) School performance and weight status of children and young adolescents in a transitional society in Thailand. International Journal of Obesity, 23, 272-277. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0800808
[19] Shore, S.M., Sachs, M.L., Lidicker, J.R., Brett, S.N., Wright, A.R., Libonati, J.R. (2008) Decreased scholastic achievement in overweight middle school students. Obesity, 16, 1535-1538. doi:10.1038/oby.2008.254
[20] Levin, S., Lowry, R., Brown, D.R. and Dietz, W.H. (2003) Physical activity and body mass index among US adolescents: Youth risk behavior survey. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 157, 816-820. doi:10.1001/archpedi.157.8.816
[21] Vogels, N., Westerterp, K.R., Posthumus, D.L.A., Rutters, F. and Westerterp-Plantenga, M.S. (2007) Daily physical activity counts vs structured activity counts in lean and overweight Dutch children. Physiology and Behavior, 92, 611-616.
[22] Ekelund, U., Aman, J., Yngve, A., Renman, C., Westerterp, K. and Sjostrom, M. (2002) Physical activity but not energy expenditure is reduced in obese adolescents: A case-control study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 76, 935-941.
[23] Hoed, M. and den Westerterp, K.R. (2008) Body composition is associated with physical activity in daily life as measured using a triaxial accelerometer in both men and women. International Journal of Obesity, 32, 1264-1270. doi:10.1038/ijo.2008.72
[24] Hill, J.O. and Wyatt, H.R. (2005) Role of physical activity in preventing and treating obesity. Journal of Applied Physiology, 99, 765-770. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00137.2005
[25] Sharpe, P.A., Granner, M.L., Hutto, B., Ainsworth, B.E. and Cook, A. (2004) Association of body mass index to meeting physical activity recommendations. American Journal of Health Behavior, 28, 522-530. doi:10.5993/AJHB.28.6.5
[26] Kaleta, D., Makowiec-Dabrowska, T. and Jegier, A. (2007) Occupational and leisure-time energy expenditure and body mass index. International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, 20, 9-16. doi:10.2478/v10001-007-0009-1
[27] Noble, J. and Sawyer, R. (2002) Predicting different levels of academic success in college using high school GPA and ACT composite score. ACT Research Report Series 2002-2004. www.act.org/research/policymakers/pdf/PredictiveValidity.pdf
[28] Goris, A.H.C. and Westerterp, K.R. (2008) Physical activity, fat intake and body fat. Physiology and Behavior, 94, 164-168. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2007.11.009
[29] Tammelin, T., Laitinen, J. and Nayha, S. (2004) Change in the level of physical activity from adolescence into adulthood and obesity at the age of 31 years. International Journal of Obesity, 28, 775-782. doi:10.1038/sj.ijo.0802622
[30] ACT Inc. (2004) Average national ACT score rises for first time since 1997, but many students still not ready for college science and math courses. Iowa City. http://www.act.org/news/releases/2004/8-18-04.html
[31] Martin, S.B., Morrow Jr., J.R., Jackson, A.W. and Dunn, A.L. (2000) Variables related to meeting the CDC/ACSM physical activity guidelines. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32, 2087-2092. doi:10.1097/00005768-200012000-00019

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2019 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.