Exercise and academic performance

Image of woman doing sit ups on an exercise mat | Featured image for Exercise and Academic Performance blog for Pivotal Motion Physiotherapy.

Exercise and academic performance


Engaging in a regular exercise regime for teens can have an array of amazing benefits. These include an opportunity for being more social, less susceptible to depression and anxiety. Exercise and academic performance can support each other in mutually beneficial ways. As well as academic outcomes, exercise has been shown to effect the size of children’s brains. Physically fit children have greater volume of grey matter in the brain. They also have great reading and learning, movement skills, and visual processing.

Greater volumes of grey matter are associated with a child’s aerobic capacity. More importantly, time taken away from studying to exercise does not affect scholastic performance. That’s a huge win win! So if teenagers perform physical activity, there are wins in academic performance, psychosocial, and physical health benefits.


The positive link between exercise and academic performance is only one outcome of regular physical recreation.Up to 80% of school kids aren’t meeting the minimum physical activity requirements each day. They need to have an hour of moderate to vigorous activity per day. An even greater percentage of these children aren’t doing any strengthening or weight-based activities. Breaking up sedentary habits may be difficult, but it’s crucial to healthy developing children and teenagers. Organised sports outside of school times are great ways to break up these sedentary behaviours.

Pivotal Motion runs teen exercises classes twice per week after school hours and before dinner time. This could be a great alternative compared to just flicking on the video games until dinner comes around. All of the above physical activity options will get the heart pumping and increase oxygen to the brain. Improvements to brain structure, functioning, and cognition are all improved. Which may help improve schooling performance.


Have you ever felt that on days where you were more physically active that you slept better? You went to sleep faster and stayed asleep throughout the night? This can be one the benefits of participating in a regular training regime. Then, with a good night’s sleep – provides an opportunity to tackle the next day with vitality. This is imperative for all adolescents as they navigate their way through endless amounts of classes, homework, exams, and assignments. Let alone other extra-curricular activities they may participate in. Poor sleep habits relate to lower levels of academic performance and poorer dietary choices. So, why not give yourself the best chance of a good night’s sleep?  Clear the mind over night, and be able to tackle the day ahead after some zzz’s.

We hope you have found our discussion of exercise and academic performance engaging. If you want to get involved in our exercises classes, our Brisbane Exercise Physiologist is always ready to get you moving and feeling better! Contact us today by calling 07 3352 5116, emailing admin@pivotalmotion.com.au or by booking today!


Updated 15/11/2022

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