Interactive Associations between Physical Activity and Sleep Duration in Relation to Adolescent Academic Achievement




Brown, Denver M. Y.
Porter, Carah
Hamilton, Faith
Almanza, Fernanda
Narvid, Christina
Pish, Megan
Arizabalo, Diego

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Purpose: The present study aimed to examine independent and interactive associations between physical activity and sleep duration with adolescent academic achievement. Methods: This cross-sectional study used data from the 2019 cycle of the US-based Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System. A total of 13,677 American adolescents in grades 9 through 12 (M(AGE) = 16.06 ± 1.24 years; 50.9% female) self-reported their sleep and physical activity behavior as well as their grades. Linear regression models fit with cubic splines were computed to capture potential non-linear associations. Results: Findings for the independent effect models revealed significant curvilinear relationships between physical activity and sleep with academic achievement wherein optimal grades were associated with 7–9 h/night of sleep and 5–7 days/week of physical activity. A significant physical activity by sleep interaction was also observed for academic achievement, which demonstrated that the association between sleep duration and academic achievement is not uniform across levels of physical activity engagement, and tradeoffs may exist. Conclusions: Overall, the results help to identify different combinations of physical activity and sleep behavior associated with optimal academic achievement and suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach to physical activity and sleep recommendations may not be adequate for promoting academic achievement during adolescence.



exercise, high school grades, movement behaviors


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19 (23): 15604 (2022)