Mediating Influence of Physical Fitness on the Relationship between Academic Performance and Motor Proficiency
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We explored the potential mediating influence of physical fitness on the relationship between academic performance and motor proficiency in children. 1864 students (F:926, M:938, age 11.91 (SD:0.34). Academic achievement was derived from an average of standardized tests of reading, writing, and math. The Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Performance (short-form) determined motor proficiency. Fitness (peak oxygen uptake) was established with the Léger 20-m Shuttle Run Test. OLS regression identified several significant predictors of academic performance. After controlling for age (p=0.0135), gender (p<0.0001), and parental education (p<0.0001), motor proficiency (p<0.0001), was significant. After adding physical fitness (p=0.0030) to the model the effect of motor proficiency remained significant however the point estimate was reduced from 0.0034 (p<0.0001) to 0.0026 (p<0.0001). These results suggest that physical fitness plays a mediating role on the relationship between academic performance and motor proficiency although both aerobic fitness and motor proficiency have independent roles.