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The Tridirectional Relationship among Physical Activity, Stress, and Academic Performance in University Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Wunsch, Kathrin 1; Fiedler, Janis ORCID iD icon 1; Bachert, Philip 1; Woll, Alexander ORCID iD icon 1
1 Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft (IfSS), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Higher education students often suffer from physiological and psychological health problems caused by stress, which may negatively impact their academic performance (AP). Physical activity (PA) can be a promising strategy to buffer these stress-induced complaints. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to summarize evidence for the tridimensional construct of PA, stress, and AP, as well as to quantify the relationships among these variables. Five databases (PubMed, Scopus, SMEI, ERIC, and Web of Science) were systematically searched in November 2019 for publications that examined PA, stress, and AP of university students, without any restrictions regarding the publication period. The systematic review includes four original research studies with a moderate-to-high risk of bias. Results of included studies were narratively summarized and quantified in a meta-analysis using random effect models. Whereas study results point to a positive relation between PA and AP, relationships between PA and stress seem to be negative, while the relation between stress and AP is undecided. The meta-analysis found no significant associations and considerable heterogeneity of the results. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000128931
Veröffentlicht am 26.01.2021
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph18020739
Zitationen: 27
Web of Science
Zitationen: 25
Zitationen: 30
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaft (IfSS)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1660-4601
KITopen-ID: 1000128931
Erschienen in International journal of environmental research and public health
Verlag MDPI
Band 18
Heft 2
Seiten Art. Nr.: 739
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung Gefördert durch den KIT-Publikationsfonds
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 16.01.2021
Schlagwörter academic stress, exams, exercise, student’s health, grade point average
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
Web of Science
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