Revising on the run or studying on the sofa: Prospective associations between physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and exam results in British adolescents
Bamber, Diane J
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
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Corder, K., Atkin, A., Bamber, D. J., Brage, S., Dunn, V., Ekelund, U., Owens, M., et al. (2015). Revising on the run or studying on the sofa: Prospective associations between physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and exam results in British adolescents. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 12 (106)https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0269-2
Background We investigated prospective associations between physical activity / sedentary behaviour (PA/SED) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) results in British adolescents. Methods Exposures were objective PA/SED and self-reported sedentary behaviours (screen (TV, Internet, Computer Games) / non-screen (homework, reading)) measured in 845 adolescents (14.5y±0.5y; 43.6% male). GCSE results at 16y were obtained from national records. Associations between exposures and academic performance (total exam points) were assessed using multilevel mixed-effects linear regression adjusted for mood, BMI z-score, deprivation, sex, season and school; potential interactions were investigated. Results PA was not associated with academic performance. One-hour more accelerometer-assessed SED was associated with (β(95% CI)) 6.9(1.5,12.4) more GCSE points. An extra hour of screen time was associated with 9.3(-14.3,-4.3) fewer points whereas an extra hour of non-screen time (reading/homework) was associated with 23.1(14.6,31.6) more points. Screen time was still associated with poorer scores after adjusting for objective PA/SED and reading/homework. Conclusions An extra hour/day of screen time at 14.5y is approximately equivalent to two fewer GCSE grades (e.g. from B to D) at 16y. Strategies to achieve the right balance between screen and non-screen time may be important for improving academic performance. Concerns that encouraging more physical activity may result in decreased academic performance seem unfounded.
The work of Kirsten Corder, Andrew J Atkin, and Esther M F van Sluijs was supported, wholly or in part, by the Centre for Diet and Activity Research (CEDAR), a UKCRC Public Health Research Centre of Excellence (RES-590-28-0002). Funding from the British Heart Foundation, Department of Health, Economic and Social Research Council, Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust, under the auspices of the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, is gratefully acknowledged. The work of Kirsten Corder, Esther M F van Sluijs, Ulf Ekelund and Soren Brage was supported by the Medical Research Council (MC_UP_1001/2, MC_U106179473, MC_UU_12015/3). The ROOTS data collection was supported by a programme grant to Ian Goodyer 074296/Z/04/Z from the Wellcome Trust and by the Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit. The funders had no role in preparation of this manuscript. We thank Rebekah Steele and Charlotte Ridgway for assistance during data collection, and Kate Westgate and Stefanie Mayle from the physical activity technical team, and Paul Collings from the Physical Activity Programme, at the MRC Epidemiology Unit for their assistance in processing Actiheart data.
Wellcome Trust (074296/Z/04/Z)
Wellcome Trust (087636/Z/08/Z)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-015-0269-2
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/250298
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Licence URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/