Table 1

Quasi-experimental studies examining the influence of sport, physical education or physical activity upon academic achievement.





Outcome measure


Fourestier [7]

Children in final year of primary school (13 years), 1 class, n = ?

Vanves (Paris)

Various sports and other activities, 13 h/wk increase for one year

Overall academic performance

Enhanced in experimental group

Shephard et al. [8]

546 children in grades 1 through 6

Trois Rivières, Québec

5 h of specialist physical education per week for 6 years

Teacher ratings, Standard Provincial examination, WISC tests

Enhanced teacher ratings, Maths but not English improved in Provincial exams, 3–4% gain on WISC

Sallis et al. [9]

655 children grades 5 and 6


27–42 min additional physical education per week for two years

Metropolitan achievement tests

Non-significant trend to gains in English, arithmetic and behaviour

Dwyer et al. [11]

500 10-year-old students

South Australia

75 min/day of endurance training

Scores for reading and arithmetic

Non-significant trend to gains in English and arithmetic at 2-year follow up

Ahamed et al. [13]

287 9–11 year old primary students

British Columbia

Added 47 min/wk of varied activities for 16 months

Canadian Achievement Test (CAT-3)

Slight trend to improved scores

Coe et al. [14]

214 grade 6 students

Western Michigan, U.S.A.

Nominal 55 min/day (actual 19 min/day) physical education for one semester

Classroom assessments and nationally standardized achievement scores

No change in academic performance except in sub-group who exercised vigorously

Raviv et al. [15]

358 kindergarten and grade 1 students


One-year movement education program

Reading skills and arithmetic skills

Both improved relative to controls

Trudeau and Shephard International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity 2008 5:10   doi:10.1186/1479-5868-5-10

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