The objective of the current study was to examine the relationship between different components of physical fitness across 3 years of junior high school with academic performance assessed at the end of the period. Two nationwide representative datasets were used. The first was the physical fitness profile assessed at the beginning of each of the three school years. The second contained the scores on a standardized test administered at the end of the third year. All data were standardized by calculating percentile rank (PR). Students were classified as “High-fit” if their fitness scores ≧ top 25% PR on the age- and sex-adjusted norms. All other students were classified as “not high-fit”. The relationships between fitness and exam performance were tested adjusting for sex, body mass index, and level of urbanization. Students who were in the high-fit group in both years 1 and 3 academically outperformed those who were outside this classification during both assessments. The degree of outperformance was greatest for those who were aerobically fit, followed by those who were high-fit in terms of muscular endurance, muscular strength, and flexibility, respectively. It is therefore concluded that the relationship between physical fitness and academic performance in Taiwanese junior high school students is strongest in the case of aerobic fitness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas