Despite the health and wellness outlook of physical activity, the number of studies that associate physical activity, and academic performance has been increased. Modern research has described the involvement of physical activity on academic performance of students at primary, secondary, and university levels which may be influenced by upgrading in attention, administrative functions, and work memory because of increased blood circulation and neurogenesis by performing physical activity. This study aimed to evaluate the association of physical activity on the academic performance of undergraduate physiotherapy students at Sindh Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
This was an observational, cross-sectional study conducted in June 2021 at Sindh Institute of Physical and Medicine Rehabilitation. Undergraduate DPT students from the second year till the fifth year enrolled in Sindh Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation were taken in the study. Data collection was done by using non-probability purposive sampling for the sample size of 365 DPT students. Α self-administered web-based survey questionnaire was used to collect data. Data were analysed on SPSS program Version 20. By using descriptive statistic age, gender, and study year was analysed. The mean difference of the scores derived from IPAQ with gender and study year were assessed through parametric tests. The relationship of physical activity with academic performance was investigated through the non-parametric test of Chi-square.
The mean difference of IPAQ scores did not show much difference between the two genders to have a better physical activity level than the other (p-value: 0.772). There was no significant difference between study years with total physical activity scores (p-value: 0.158). According to cross-tabulation, 50% of students who had a GPA around the 2.1-3.0 range and 51.70% who had a GPA around the 3.1-4.0 range were classified in low activity level. Therefore, we conclude that a non-significant association between physical activity and academic performance was found among undergraduate physiotherapy students in SIPMR.
The deduction to our research is that there was no link between physical activity with academic performance. Along with that, there was no evidence found in the current study about either gender being more physically active than others. Students from all the years in SIPMR had the same level of activity level and there was no significant difference found.