The subject-dependent, cumulative, and recency association of aerobic fitness with academic performance in Taiwanese junior high school students 13 Education 1303 Specialist Studies in Education 13 Education 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy

Shu Shih Hsieh, Jia Ren Tsai, Shao Hsi Chang, Jen Yu Ho, Jui Fu Chen, Po Hsi Chen, Yao Ting Sung, Tsung Min Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The objective of the current study was to examine whether the relation between aerobic fitness and academic achievement during adolescence is subject-dependent, and to investigate cumulative and recency effects. Methods: This study made use of two nationwide datasets. The first was the aerobic fitness profile of junior high school students collected by the Ministry of Education in Taiwan. The second contained the scores on the Basic Competence Test for Junior High School Students (BCTJH). The sample consisted of 382,259 students who completed the BCTJH in the 5 years between 2009 and 2013. Data on each student's aerobic fitness during their three years of junior high school were matched with their exam results at the end of this period. Results: The results revealed that students classified as highly-fit during at least one of the three years had higher BCTJH scores than those who never achieved this level, with the size of effect increasing with the length of time that fitness was maintained. Additionally, aerobic fitness in the final year was more closely linked to BCTJH scores than that in the earlier two years. Fitness was also more strongly associated with exam performance in math, science and social science, relative to language-related subjects. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that while aerobic fitness is positively related to academic achievement in Taiwanese junior high school students, the relationship depends on academic subject, as well as the length and time of being aerobically fit.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 17



  • Adolescence
  • Fitness
  • Language
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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