Document Type : Original Article


1 School of Physical Education, Sport, and Exercise Science, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana

2 Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, United States


Context: Lack of physical activity is a contributor to the obesity epidemic and is speculated
to relate to reduced academic performance; however, this link has yet to be examined
within the college population. Aims: The purpose of this study in a group of undergraduate
students, was to determine if aerobic exercise activity was related to academic performance.
Materials and Methods: The participants for this study included 740 students at multiple
universities enrolled in nursing and kinesiology studies. The participants completed the Leisure
and Physical Activity Questionnaire. Results: Pearson’s χ2
 analysis revealed differences
in grade point average with aerobic activity (χ2 = 44.29, P ≤ 0.001) as well as a trend
toward differences in grade point average with weightlifting activity (χ2 = 22.69, P = 0.61).
Conclusions: Based on these findings it can be suggested that college students engage in
greater aerobic exercise.


1. Mirowsky J. Cognitive decline and the default American lifestyle.
J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 2011;66 Suppl 1:i50-8.
2. McArthur LH, Raedeke TD. Race and sex differences in college student
physical activity correlates. Am J Health Behav 2009;33:80-90.
3. Seo D, Torabi MR, Jiang N, Fernandez-Rojas X, Park BH. Cross-cultural
comparison of lack of regular physcial activity among college
students: Universal versus transversal. Int J Behav Med
4. Kubey RW, Lavin MJ, Barrows JR. Internet use and collegiate
academic performance decrements: Early findings. Communication
5. Anand V. A study of time management: The correlation between
video game usage and academic performance markers.
Cyberpsychol Behav 2007;10:552-9.
6. Levine LE, Waite BM, Bowman LL. Electronic media use, reading
and academic distractibility in college youth. Cyberpsychol Behav
7. McCutcheon LE, Campbell JD. The impact of video game playing
on academic performance at a community college. Community/
Junior College Quarterly of Research and Practice1986;10:59-63.
8. Best JR. Effects of physical activity on children’s executive function:
Contributions of experimental research on aerobic exercise. Dev
Rev 2010;30:331-51.
9. Tomporowski PD, Davis CL, Miller PH, Naglieri JA. Exercise and
Children’s intelligence, cognition, and academic achievement. Educ
Psychol Rev 2008;20:111-31.
10. Ando S, Kokubu M, Yamada Y, Kimura M. Does cerebral
oxygenation affect cognitive function during exercise? Eur J Appl
Physiol 2011;111:1973-82.
11. Griffin EW, Mullally S, Foley C, Warmington SA, O’Mara SM,
Kelly AM. Aerobic exercise improves hippocampal function and
increases BDNF in the serum of young adult males. Physiol Behav
12. Vaynman S, Ying Z, Gomez-Pinilla F. Hippocampal BDNF mediates
the efficacy of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition. Eur J
Neurosci 2004;20:2580-90.
13. Fox CK, Barr-Anderson D, Neumark-Sztainer D, Wall M. Physical
activity and sports team participation: Associations with academic
outcomes in middle school and high school students. J Sch Health
14. Al-Kandari F, Vidal VL. Correlation of the health-promoting lifestyle,
enrollment level, and academic performance of college of nursing
students in Kuwait. Nurs Health Sci 2007;9:112-9.
15. Laure P, Binsinger C. L’activité physique et sportive régulière: Un
déterminant des résultatsscolaires au collège. (french) Physical
Activity and Regular Sport Participation, One determinant of
academic results in college. Science and Sports 2009;24:31-5.
16. Stevens TA, To Y, Stevenson SJ, Lochbaum MR. The importance
of physical activity and physical education in the prediction of
academic achievement. J Sport Behav 2008;31:368-88.
17. Piqueras JA, Kuhne W, Vera-Villarroel P, van Straten A, Cuijpers P.
Happiness and health behaviours in Chilean college students:
A cross-sectional survey. BMC Public Health 2011;11:443.
18. Seo D, Nehl E, Agley J, Ma S. Relations between physical activity and
behavioral and perceptual correlates among mid-western college
students. J Am Coll Health 2007;56;187-97.
19. Taber DR, Meischke H, Maciejewski ML. Testing social cognitive
mechanisms of exercise in college students. Am J Health Behav
20. Chang YK, Etnier JL. Exploring the dose-response relationship
between resistance exercise intensity and cognitive function.
J Sport Exerc Psychol 2009;31:640-56.
21. Anderson-Hanley C, Nimon JP, Westen SC. Cognitive health benefits
of strengthening exercise for community-dwelling older adults.
J Clin Exp Neuropsychol 2010;32:996-1001.
22. Liu-Ambrose T, Nagamatsu LS, Graf P, Beattie BL, Ashe MC,
Handy TC. Resistance training and executive functions: A 12 month
controlled study. Arch Intern Med 2010;170:170-8.
23. Tseng CN, Gau BS, Lou MF. The effectiveness of exercise on
improving cognitive function in older people: A systematic review.
J Nurs Res 2011;19:119-31.