School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Randall Dunn

Primary Subject Area

Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Health; Education, Physical


Academic Achievement, Health, Physical Fitness, Relationships


This study compared fifth grade students' physical fitness levels to academic achievement based on the premise that health and physical fitness has an effect on one's ability to learn and achieve academically. Due to No Child Left Behind and the mounting pressures to reach Adequate Yearly Progress, many school officials view non-assessed activities like physical education and recess as unnecessary, consequently creating a case for the elimination of any subject that is not directly measured through standardized testing. Finding a link between fitness and academic achievement may cause educational leaders to reevaluate time spent during the school day. Data was collected for 113 students during the 2008-2009 school year by using the FitnessGram, STAR Reading and Math Percentiles, and Grade Point Averages (GPA's). Through multiple regression, the researcher found statistically significant relationships between physical fitness and two of the three measures used for academic achievement: STAR Math Percentiles (p = 0.0063 < 0.05; R = 0.26 > 0.195) and GPA's (p = 0.0124 < 0.05; R = 0.23 > 0.195). Therefore, the hypothesis was accepted, validating a link between fitness and academic achievement. This study does not prove causality; it is more probable that physical fitness and academic achievement influence each other in ways that are still vague.