Are physical activity and academic performance compatible? Academic achievement, conduct, physical activity and self-esteem of Hong Kong Chinese primary school children

C. C.W. Yu, Scarlet Chan, Frances Cheng, R. Y.T. Sung (Corresponding Author), Kit Tai Hau

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Education is so strongly emphasized in the Chinese culture that academic success is widely regarded as the only indicator of success, while too much physical activity is often discouraged because it drains energy and affects academic concentration. This study investigated the relations among academic achievement, self-esteem, school conduct and physical activity level. The participants were 333 Chinese pre-adolescents (aged 8-12) in Hong Kong. Examination results and conduct grades were obtained from the school records. Global self-esteem was measured with the Physical self-description questionnaire (PSDQ), while physical activity patterns of the children were assessed with the Physical activity questionnaire for children (PAQ-C). Results showed that high academic achievers consistently attained better school conduct marks. However, physical activity level was quite an independent entity that was related neither to academic achievement nor school conduct. Furthermore, regression analyses showed that only academically high-achieving boys and physically active boys had higher self-esteem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-341
Number of pages11
JournalEducational Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese students
  • Physical activity
  • Physical self-description questionnaire
  • Self-esteem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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