Abstract: The purpose of this randomized controlled study was to investigate the efficacy of an 8- week exercise programme conducted in e-learning mode on high school students’ academic performance. The aim was to examine the changes in physical fitness and learning outcomes during the enforced period of lockdown caused by outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of schools in Italy. Thirty high-school students (14–15 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 15) that performed an at-home workout programme (~60 min., twice a week), or a control group (n = 15) who received only a regular programme of theoretical lessons where no practice takes place. Both groups were synchronized in real-time with the physical education teacher. In order to assess students’ starting level and significant changes reached, at baseline and after training, a battery of standardized assessment motor tests (Standing long jump test, Harvard step test, sit and reach test, and butt kicks test), and an academic achievement test (Amos 8–15) were administered. In comparison to the control group at baseline and the end of the programme, the experimental group reported considerable improvements in motivation and concentration, significant anxiety reduction, and an increase in capacity to organize studying and to be more flexible. Moreover, it was possible to observe the efficacy of the workout to improve learning ability among practicing students (p < 0,001). No significant changes were found in the control group. The results suggest that a school-based exercise programme conducted online could be a powerful approach in order to achieve the best academic outcomes and for improving students’ physical fitness as well as their cognitive health

The Impact of an 8-Weeks At-Home Physical Activity Plan on Academic Achievement at the Time of COVID-19 Lock-Down in Italian School

Colella Dario
Methodology
2021-01-01

Abstract

Abstract: The purpose of this randomized controlled study was to investigate the efficacy of an 8- week exercise programme conducted in e-learning mode on high school students’ academic performance. The aim was to examine the changes in physical fitness and learning outcomes during the enforced period of lockdown caused by outbreak of the second wave of COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of schools in Italy. Thirty high-school students (14–15 years) were randomly assigned to an experimental group (n = 15) that performed an at-home workout programme (~60 min., twice a week), or a control group (n = 15) who received only a regular programme of theoretical lessons where no practice takes place. Both groups were synchronized in real-time with the physical education teacher. In order to assess students’ starting level and significant changes reached, at baseline and after training, a battery of standardized assessment motor tests (Standing long jump test, Harvard step test, sit and reach test, and butt kicks test), and an academic achievement test (Amos 8–15) were administered. In comparison to the control group at baseline and the end of the programme, the experimental group reported considerable improvements in motivation and concentration, significant anxiety reduction, and an increase in capacity to organize studying and to be more flexible. Moreover, it was possible to observe the efficacy of the workout to improve learning ability among practicing students (p < 0,001). No significant changes were found in the control group. The results suggest that a school-based exercise programme conducted online could be a powerful approach in order to achieve the best academic outcomes and for improving students’ physical fitness as well as their cognitive health
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11587/455783
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