Physical Activity & Academic Performance: Is There A Correlation?

Middle School Life Science Science Fair Project
Photo © 2006 Alberto G., Flickr

Not only is exercise important for keeping our bodies strong and healthy, it's also good for the mind - affecting mood, alertness, energy levels, and general feelings of well-being. Since exercise has been shown to do all of these things, the creators of All Science Fair Projects wondered if exercise before an important exam could have any effect on academic performance. To test this theory, the creators found an equal mix of male and female participants and designed eight 50-question exams with which to collect results.

The exams related to four different subject areas - math, science, history, and geography - and were tailored to the age group of the participants. [NOTE: Two exams of comparable difficulty were created for each subject area.] Over a period of five days, student volunteers took eight different exams.With the first set of exams -one from each subject area - students were immediately taken to the exam room to begin testing. With the second set of exams, students were asked to perform 30-minutes of light activity, followed by a period of rest, and then taken to the exam room.

The exams were then scored and the results compared! For full project details - suggestions for creating an exam 'schedule', sample test results, conclusions, etc - be sure to visit All Science Fair Projects!


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