Physical activity and childhood academic achievement: A critical review

Kaitlin Cacciotti, Nikki Milne, Rob Marc Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-45
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Behavior and Policy Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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