European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 945–962

The academic and psychological benefits of exercise in healthy children and adolescents


DOI: 10.1007/s10212-012-0148-z

Cite this article as:
Rasmussen, M. & Laumann, K. Eur J Psychol Educ (2013) 28: 945. doi:10.1007/s10212-012-0148-z


This review examines the psychological benefits exercise is connected to in healthy children and adolescents. Studies on the effect of exercise on academic performance, self-esteem, emotions, and mood were examined. Academic performance is found to be maintained when normal academic classes are reduced and replaced by an increase in exercise, physical activity, or physical education. Exercise seems to have a positive effect on several aspects of cognition and self-esteem in healthy children and adolescents. A positive connection between exercise and emotions and moods in children is found in the few studies that have been conducted.


AdolescentChildExercisePhysical activityPsychological benefitsAcademic performanceEducation

Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media BV 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.NTNUDepartment of PsychologyTrondheimNorway