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Physical activity and obesity mediate the association between childhood motor function and adolescents' academic achievement
LIKES, Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences, FI-40720 Jyväskylä, Finland.
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom.
LIKES, Research Center for Sport and Health Sciences, FI-40720 Jyväskylä, Finland.
Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland.
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2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 110, no 5, p. 1917-1922Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The global epidemic of obesity and physical inactivity may have detrimental implications for young people's cognitive function and academic achievement. This prospective study investigated whether childhood motor function predicts later academic achievement via physical activity, fitness, and obesity. The study sample included 8,061 children from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986, which contains data about parent-reported motor function at age 8 y and self-reported physical activity, predicted cardiorespiratoryfitness (cycle ergometer test), obesity (body weight and height), and academic achievement (grades) at age 16 y. Structural equation models with unstandardized (B) and standardized (β) coefficients were used to test whether, and to what extent, physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and obesity at age 16 mediated the association between childhood motor function and adolescents' academic achievement. Physical activity was associated with a higher grade-point average, and obesity was associated with a lower grade-point average in adolescence. Furthermore, compromised motor function in childhood had a negative indirect effect on adolescents' academic achievement via physical inactivity (B = -0.023, 95% confidence interval = -0.031, -0.015) and obesity (B = -0.025, 95% confidence interval = -0.039, -0.011), but not via cardiorespiratory fitness. These results suggest that physical activity and obesity may mediate the association between childhood motor function and adolescents' academic achievement. Compromised motorfunctioninchildhood may represent an important factor driving the effects of obesity and physical inactivity on academic underachievement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 110, no 5, p. 1917-1922
Keywords [en]
Academic performance, Exercise, Motor skills, Overweight
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Pediatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-18531DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1214574110ISI: 000314558100068Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84873171991OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-18531DiVA, id: diva2:608854
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CODEN: PNASA

Available from: 2013-03-01 Created: 2013-02-26 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Rodriguez, Alina

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