The Associations Between Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Academic Performance : A Twin Study

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Aaltonen , S , Palviainen , T , Rose , R J , Kujala , U M , Kaprio , J & Silventoinen , K 2021 , ' The Associations Between Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Academic Performance : A Twin Study ' , Journal of physical activity & health , vol. 18 , no. 8 , pp. 998-1003 .

Title: The Associations Between Leisure-Time Physical Activity and Academic Performance : A Twin Study
Author: Aaltonen, Sari; Palviainen, Teemu; Rose, Richard J.; Kujala, Urho M.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Silventoinen, Karri
Contributor organization: Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland
Population Research Unit (PRU)
Genetic Epidemiology
Department of Public Health
Helsinki Inequality Initiative (INEQ)
Center for Population, Health and Society
Date: 2021-08
Language: eng
Number of pages: 6
Belongs to series: Journal of physical activity & health
ISSN: 1543-3080
Abstract: Both genetic and environmental influences have been shown to contribute to the association between physical activity and overall academic performance. The authors examined whether leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) shares genetic and environmental variances between spelling, essay writing, reading aloud, reading comprehension, and mathematics in early adolescence. Moreover, they investigated whether genetic polymorphisms associated with physical activity behavior affect these academic skills. Methods: Participants were 12-year-old Finnish twins (n = 4356-4370 twins/academic skill, 49% girls). Academic skills were assessed by teachers, and LTPA was self-reported. Polygenic scores for physical activity behavior were constructed from the UK Biobank. Quantitative genetic modeling and linear regression models were used to analyze the data. Results: The trait correlations between LTPA and academic skills were significant but weak (r = .05-.08). The highest trait correlation was found between LTPA and mathematics. A significant genetic correlation was revealed between LTPA and essay writing (r(A) = .14). Regarding polygenic scores of physical activity, the highest correlations were found with reading comprehension, spelling, and essay writing, but these results only approached statistical significance (P values = .09-.15). Conclusions: The authors' results suggest that reading and writing are the academic skills that most likely share a common genetic background with LTPA.
Subject: academic achievement
polygenic score
3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: unspecified
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion

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