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Physical Activity and Academic Performance - Essay Example

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The profile of regular exercise and sport in society has risen in recent years. The links between regular physical activity and physical and psychological health grow ever stronger and the role of competitive sport as entertainment and recreation is proliferating…
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Physical Activity and Academic Performance
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Download file to see previous pages As social psychology is the study of human behaviour in social contexts, much of the investigation into the factors that contribute to exercise and sport behavior, and the understanding of the relationships among these factors have been conducted by applying theoretical approaches from social psychology (Biddle and Nigg, 2000). This sociological approach to social psychology examines the effects of personal experience, meanings, language, culture, ideology, and the material or physical environment on the 'lived experience' of individuals in those contexts and, in particular, their relationships with others. The key unit of analysis in this approach tends to be representations, stereotypes, and cultural images and how they relate to people's construction and interpretation of the meaning they attribute to themselves and others on the basis of these broad social influences (Biddle and Mutrie, 2001).
Many prominent athletes and coaches believe that although sport is played with the body, it is won in the mind. If psychological intervention improves physical performance, there can also be possibility that physical activity could also improve mental performance. This gives rise to the question as to whether regular physical activity improves mental performance and related academic achievements in academic settings including those for young learners. This question has validity from the social perspectives since if relevant evidence can be gleaned from the research articles; this can generate a means to improve academic achievement through promotion of regular physical activities including sports in the academic settings (Bodin and Hartig, 2003).
Research Hypotheses
In recent years, a great deal of research evidence has accumulated to show that regular physical activity is associated with a range of physical and mental health benefits (Mutrie, 2002). Despite this suggestion and many circumspective evidences, there is reluctance to take up physical activity in the academic settings and even of started, there are problems in maintaining it. Data suggest most adult populations do not engage themselves in regular physical activities, and even if they begin, they do not continue or pursue exercise on a regular basis. These suggest not only that lack of physical inactivity is a growing concern for many communities but also that intervention campaigns are required to promote exercise initiation and adherence (Marcus and Forsyth, 2003). It has been observed that interventions of this magnitude present with formidable barriers. Implementation of these need behavior changes, since it is frequent finding that despite feeling refreshed or invigorated following exercise, many fail to continue to it. On the contrary their effects on young school going population had been inadequately researched. It is pertinent to consider that behavioral interventions can best be begun early on, and thus it would be worthwhile to find evidence whether physical exercise could be ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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