Education has a huge undertaking in nurturing our youth, with 56 million individuals seeking quality education daily (CDC 2010). For years the educational system has debated whether the length of school hours, classes, and academic time relates to academic achievement; however, many studies find that student learning depends on how the available time is utilized, not necessarily the amount of time allocated (Taras, H. 2005). During the debate regarding academic performance, standardized testing became a popular threshold for academic success along with college acceptance; and advanced classes were created starting as early as elementary school to increase student learning outcome. While trying to create the "super human," we as a society have potentially assisted in the creation of anxiety disorders, depression, obesity, and other cognitive disabilities such as ADHD as well as limited social interactions and increased risk-taking behaviors due to academic pressures (Taras, H. 2005). As a result, classes such as physical education and academic breaks such as recess have been cut from schools to increase time in common core subjects such as English, math, and science; and extracurricular activities like after school programs and athletics have been deemed insignificant to academic success (CDC 2010). The purpose of this analysis is to determine a positive correlation between increased student academic performance and school-based physical activity, such as physical education, recess and after school extracurricular programs, through recent studies.
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