Acute Exercise and Academic Achievement in High School Youth


  • Andrew Harveson
  • James Hannon West Virginia University
  • Timothy Brusseau University of Utah
  • Les Podlog University of Utah
  • Ben Chase University of Utah
  • Kyoung-doo Kang University of Utah



resistance exercise, aerobic exercise, cognition, mathematics


The purpose of this study was to compare the acute effects of Aerobic Exercise (AE), Resistance Exercise (RE), and a nonexercise (NE) control on measures of academic achievement (AA) and cognition in 10th grade males and females. This study utilized a randomized crossover design. Tenth grade males and females performed three exercise trials (AE, RE, NE) separated by 7 days each. Immediately following exercise, participants completed a 10-question mathematics test, followed by the Stroop test. A repeated measures ANOVA revealed small but insignificant differences in mean math test performance between RE and NE, F(1,86) = 2.81, p = .098, ?2 = .032, and AE and NE, F(1,86) = 2.03, p = .158, ?2 = .023. Significant differences were found between RE and NE in the Stroop dot test, F(1,86) = 4.31, p = .041, ?2 = .048, and between AE and NE in the Stroop dot test, F(1,86) = 10.402, p = .002, ?2 = .108, and Stroop color test, F(1,86) = 6.85, p = .01, ?2 = .074. In conclusion, acute RE and AE did not significantly improve scores on a test of mathematics, but did improve measures of cognition in comparison to an NE control.

Subscribe to TPE

Author Biography

Andrew Harveson

Andrew Harveson is an assistant professor of kinesiology, Department of Online and Professional Studies, California Baptist University.