2011 - Research

Physical Activity and the Achievement Gap Among Urban Minority Youth

KEY TAKEAWAY:

There are disparities in physical activity and academic achievement among urban minority school-aged children, and improving physical activity and fitness in schools, especially through active transportation to school, could be a strategy for improving academic achievement among this group.

RESULTS:

  • School-based physical education programs have been shown to improve physical activity and fitness.
  • Physical activity and fitness have a positive effect on the brain and cognition which could improve learning.
  • Therefore, increasing opportunities for physical activity in schools could improve academic achievement among youth who are less active, including minority youth.
  • Active transportation to school may be a good way to increase physical activity among low-income, minority youth.

METHODS:

  • This study is a literature review of connections between physical activity and academic achievement and approaches for increasing physical activity and fitness through school environments, with a particular focus among urban minority youth populations. 
Basch, C. E. (2011), Physical Activity and the Achievement Gap Among Urban Minority Youth. Journal of School Health, 81: 626–634. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2011.00637.
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Authored by: 
Basch C. E.