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Sport at competitive level improves the academic performance of secondary education students
12 June 2013
Academic performance is better if young people play sports competitively, as is clear from the findings of the thesis presented by Ana Capdevila Seder at the Universitat Jaume I. The thesis has been directed by the lecturer of Teaching Body Language and director of the UJI Sports Service Carlos Hernando Domingo.
Academic performance in adolescence is a matter of concern for teachers, parents and researchers. Similarly, the sedentary lifestyle is affecting more and more children and young people, causing, among other, cardiorespiratory ailments and diseases specific to adulthood. In the adolescence, specifically among secondary education students, sports abandonment occurs massively and the main cause is focused on the lack of time to combine sport and studies.
The main results of the research conducted by Ana Capdevila show that the profile with a better academic performance corresponds to female students studying in private schools or state-subsided schools who play sports (even competitively) and with parents who have higher education and practice sport. In addition, the findings show that athlete students have better study habits and spend less time on sedentary leisure activities than non-athlete students.
Other remarkable results from the study of the assistant professor in the Department of Education at the UJI have been the positive influence that the practice of sport of parents has on children's academic performance, and also in their sport practice, because if parents practice sport, almost 86 per cent of children do too. Similarly, the family plays a key role in facilitating that children can combine study tasks and sport. Their greater involvement in issues such as transport, food or rest increases performance.
Young athletes have scored higher on the test on study habits; especially in areas such as attitude and time schedule to study (they are more motivated to study and the reasons why they do it are more clear to them). This fact suggests the importance of arranging the free time when this time is occupied, in large part, by training and racing, and how profitable it is to invest time in active leisure instead of sedentary leisure activities, thus showing that sport at competition level improves performance and does not interfere with studies during adolescence.
The study involved 313 adolescents in the second cycle of compulsory secondary education in Castellón de la Plana, 124 of which were athletes (with a minimum commitment of 10 hours of sport per week) and 189 non-athletes. Students answered two questionnaires, the CHTE questionnaire on study habits and practice, and the PFYTL on physical activity and leisure. In addition, parents were administered a questionnaire and participants’ academic marks were also taken into account in the research.
Ana Capdevila Seder