Francesca Latino, Stefania Cataldi, Valerio Bonavolontà, Francesco Fischetti


This study aims to investigate the efficacy of a 16-week complex physical activity (CPA) program on students' academic performance and physical fitness. 88 students (14±.33yrs) were randomly assigned to an experimental group (EG, n=44) who received 15 more minutes of CPA (with cognitive involvement) in addition to physical education (PE) classes, or a control group (CG, n=44) who received regular PE lessons. Students' physical fitness were assessed through a battery of motor tests (20mSRT, Push-up, Curl-up, Sit&reach). Cognitive performance and academic achievement were assessed by the Amos 8-15. After the intervention, the EG showed a greater capacity to organize their study and to be more flexible, an anxiety-reduction, and an improvement in motivation, concentration and learning ability (p<0.001). The CG did not report significant changes. This study suggests that a CPA program might be effective on cognition and academic success, as well as for improving students' physical fitness.

Parole chiave

academic performance, school-based physical activity, learning outcomes

Full Text


Riferimenti bibliografici

Beck, M.M., Lind, R.R., Geertsen, S.S., Ritz, C., Lundbye-Jensen, J. & Wienecke, J. (2016) Motor-Enriched Learning Activities Can Improve Mathematical Performance in Preadolescent Children. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 10:645. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2016.00645

Budde, H., Voelcker-Rehage, C., Pietrabyk-Kendziorra, S., Ribeiro, P., and Tidow, G. (2008). Acute coordinative exercise improves attentional performance in adolescents. Neurosci. Lett. 441,219–223.doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2008. 06.024

Castro-Piñero, J., Chillón, P., Ortega, F.B., Montesinos, J.L., Sjöström,M. and Ruiz, J.R. (2009). Criterion-related validity of sit-and-reach and modified sit-and-reach test for estimating hamstring flexibility in children and adolescents aged 6-17 years. International Journal of Sports Medicine 30, 658-662.

Cohen, J. (1992). A Power Primer. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 155-159. https://doi.org/10.1037/0033-2909.112.1.155.

Cornoldi C., De Beni R., Zamperlin, C., and Meneghetti, C., (2005), AMOS 8-15. Strumenti di valutazione di abilità e motivazione allo studio per studenti dagli 8 ai 14 anni, Trento, Erickson.

Donnelly, J. E., Hillman, C. H., Castelli, D., Etnier, J. L., Lee, S., Tomporowski, P., Lambourne, K., & Szabo-Reed, A. N. (2016). Physical Activity, Fitness, Cognitive Function, and Academic Achievement in Children: A Systematic Review. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 48(6), 1197–1222. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000000901

Hillman, C., Erickson, K.I., and Kramer, A.F., (2008). Be Smart, Exercise Your Heart: Exercise Effects on Brain and Cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9(1):58-65. DOI: 10.1038/nrn2298

Hillman, C.H., Erickson, K.I., and Kramer, A.F. (2008). Be smart, exercise your heart: exercise effects on brain and cognition. Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 9,58–65. doi:10.1038/nrn2298

Hillman, C.H., Pontifex, M.B., Castelli, D.M., Khan, N.A., Raine, L.B., Scudder, M.R., et al. (2014). Effects of the FITKids randomized controlled trial on executive control and brain function. Pediatrics 134,e1063–e1071. doi:10.1542/peds.2013-3219

Jackson, A. W., Fromme, C., Plitt, H., & Mercer, J Reliability and validity of a 1-minute push-up testfor young adults. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, .1994. vol 65, A-57

Kandola, A., Vancampfort, D., Herring, M., Rebar, A., Hallgren, M., Firth, J., & Stubbs, B. (2018). Moving to Beat Anxiety: Epidemiology and Therapeutic Issues with Physical Activity for Anxiety. Current psychiatry reports, 20(8), 63. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-018-0923-x

Khan, Z.N., (2016). Factors effecting study habits. World Journal of Educational Research, 3(1): 145-150.

Knudson D. (2001). The validity of recent curl-up tests in young adults. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 15(1), 81–85.

Latino F., Cataldi S., Fischetti F. (2021). Effects of a coordinative ability training program on adolescents’ cognitive functioning. Frontiers in Psychology, 28: 30. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.620440

Latino, F., Fischetti, F., Cataldi, S., Monacis, D., & Colella, D., (2021). "The Impact of an 8-Weeks At-Home Physical Activity Plan on Academic Achievement at the Time of COVID-19 Lock-Down in Italian School," Sustainability, 13(11): 1-16.

Léger, L.A., Mercier, D., Gadoury, C., & Lambert, J., (1988). The multistage 20 metre shuttle run test for aerobic fitness, in J Sports Sci, 6(2): 93–101

Pesce C, Stodden DF and Lakes KD (2021) Editorial: Physical Activity “Enrichment”: A Joint Focus on Motor Competence, Hot and Cool Executive Functions. Front. Psychol. 12:658667. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.658667

Pesce, C. (2012). Shifting the focus from quantitative to qualitative exercise characteristics in exercise and cognition research. J. Sport Exerc. Psychol. 34, 766–786.doi:10.1123/jsep.34.6.766

Pesce, C., Masci, I., Marchetti, R., Vazou, S., Sääkslahti, A., and Tomporowski, P.D. (2016). Deliberate play and preparation jointly benefit motor and cognitive development: mediated and moderated effects. Front. Psychol. 7:349. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00349

Pontifex, M.B., Saliba, B.J., Raine, L.B., Picchietti, D.L., & Hillman, C.H. (2013). Exercise improves behavioral, neurocognitive and scholastic performance in children with ADHD. J. Pediatr. 162,543–551. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.08.036

Sibley, B.A., and Etnier, J.L., (2003). The relationship between physical activity and cognition in children: a meta-analysis. Pediatric Exercise Science, 15, 243–256.

Tomporowski, P.D., (2003). Effects of acute bouts of exercise on cognition. Acta Psychologica, 112(3):297–324.

Trudeau, F., and Shephard, R.J., (2010). Relationships of physical activity to brain health and the academic performance of schoolchildren. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 4, 138–150.Doi: 10.1177/1559827609351133.

Vazou, S., & Smiley-Oyen, A. (2014). Moving and academic learning are not antagonists: acute effects on executive function and enjoyment. J. Sport Exerc. Psychol. 36,474–485.doi:10.1123/jsep.2014-0035

Wang F, Lee Ek, Wu T, Benson H, Fricchione G, Wang W, Yeung As. (2014) The effects of tai chi on depression, anxiety, and psychological well-being: a systematic review and meta-analysis. in Int J Behav Med. 2014 Aug;21(4):605-17.

Wang, C. W., Chan, C. H., Ho, R. T., Chan, J. S., Ng, S. M., & Chan, C. L. (2014). Managing stress and anxiety through qigong exercise in healthy adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 14, 8. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-14-8

DOI: https://doi.org/10.32043/gsd.v6i1.571


  • Non ci sono refbacks, per ora.

Copyright (c) 2022 Giornale Italiano di Educazione alla Salute, Sport e Didattica Inclusiva

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.