Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Thesis


Academic achievement; Physical fitness--Psychological aspects; Academic theses;


In today's schools, there is a major emphasis placed on academic proficiency particularly in the areas of reading, math, and science. Society is also seeing increases in the number of people who are obese and inactive. Some believe that increasing physical activity and/or improving physical fitness will result in better academic achievement of students in school. This study examined the relationship between academic achievement and physical fitness in adolescents. The participants included 200 ( 118 male, 82 female), high school students, at a rural high school located in the Midwestern region of the United States. Student's third trimester, end of the year, and cumulative grade point averages were used as measures of academic achievement for all students in this study. Iowa Test of Educational Development (ITED) test results for reading, math, science, and social studies were also used as measures of academic achievement for the 9 th - 11th grade students. Height, weight, body fat percentage, bicep strength test, sit and reach test, and the PACER test were all used as measures of physical fitness (i.e. body composition, upper body strength, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance). The findings suggest that there is a positive relationship between cardiovascular endurance and grade point averages for both males and females. In other words, students who have greater cardiovascular endurance tend to have higher grade point averages. There was no relationship found between any of the measures of physical fitness and standardized (ITED) test scores. Having good physical fitness does not hinder academic achievement. It can be concluded that in some cases, even though the impact is not very substantial, good physical fitness is related to better academic achievement.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services

First Advisor

Larry Hensley

Second Advisor

Kevin Finn

Third Advisor

Carol Phillips


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Date Original


Object Description

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