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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(11), 14857-14871; doi:10.3390/ijerph121114857

The Association between Health Behaviours and Academic Performance in Canadian Elementary School Students: A Cross-Sectional Study

1
Applied Research Collaborations for Health, School of Health and Human Performance, Dalhousie University, 1318 Robie Street, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
2
Perinatal Epidemiology Research Unit, Departments of Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Dalhousie University, 5980 University Avenue, Halifax, NS B3K 6R8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul Tchounwou
Received: 2 September 2015 / Revised: 2 November 2015 / Accepted: 13 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [695 KB, uploaded 20 November 2015]

Abstract

Background: Establishing early healthy eating and physical activity behaviours is critical in supporting children’s long-term health and well-being. The objective of the current paper was to examine the association between health behaviours and academic performance in elementary school students in a school board in Nova Scotia, Canada. Methods: Our population-based study included students in grades 4–6 across 18 schools in a rural school board. Diet and physical activity were assessed through validated instruments. Academic performance measures were obtained from the school board for Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA). Associations between health behaviours and academic performance were assessed using multilevel logistic regression. Results: Students with unhealthy lifestyle behaviours were more likely to have poor academic performance for both ELA and Mathematics compared to students with healthy lifestyle behaviours; associations were statistically significant for diet quality, physical activity, sugar-sweetened beverage consumption for ELA; and breakfast skipping, not being physically active at morning recess, and not being physically active after school for Mathematics. The effects of diet and physical activity were independent of each other and there was no interaction between the two exposures. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that support for healthy behaviours may help to improve academic outcomes of students. View Full-Text
Keywords: child; academic performance; diet; physical activity; Canada child; academic performance; diet; physical activity; Canada
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

McIsaac, J.-L.D.; Kirk, S.F.L.; Kuhle, S. The Association between Health Behaviours and Academic Performance in Canadian Elementary School Students: A Cross-Sectional Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 14857-14871.

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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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