Education K-12 M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Elliott, Nathan


This thesis explores the implications physical activity has on academic outcomes for students. Current research is reviewed to provide an overview of what movement opportunities are already being implemented in schools. Reviewed research discusses the need and impact movement has on the brain and the body. The research also explores limitations and barriers schools, teachers, and students are encountering that makes having physical education programs difficult as well as why the provision of physical activity through interventions in the classroom is challenging. Physical education programming, interventions, play, and increasing the intensity of movement are reviewed in this thesis. Additional research is included demonstrating the impact of social economic status and race on students’ access to movement and the impact it has on academic achievement. Additional research is provided on the impacts physical activity has on student behavior as a support to the academic achievement outcomes seen when physical education or movement programming is utilized in schools. The collection of research indicates that growth in academic achievement correlating to physical activity occurs when students are active in a consistent program offering exercise at an intensity level within or challenging to their aerobic capacity for a developmentally appropriate amount of time.

Degree Name

Education K-12 M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis

Included in

Education Commons