Tracking changes of chinese pre-service teachers’ aerobic fitness, body mass index, and grade point average over 4-years of college

Xiaofen D. Keating, Rulan Shangguan, Kunpeng Xiao, Xue Gao, Connor Sheehan, Liang Wang, Jeff Colburn, Yao Fan, Fei Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Although increasing attention has been given to student academic achievement, usually measured by grade point average (GPA), and fitness in children and adolescents, much fewer studies have been conducted in higher education settings, especially in China. This study investigated the longitudinal associations of aerobic fitness (AF), body mass index (BMI), and GPA in Chinese pre-service teachers at a university. A longitudinal research design was employed to track changes in AF, BMI, and GPA, for a total of 1980 students for four years. Multi-level growth models were used to examine the interactive changes of the above three variables. It was found that GPA and BMI increased each year, while AF declined dramatically at the fourth year. The three-way interaction among GPA, gender, and BMI was significant, suggesting females who were overweight/obese had lower GPA. The data from the current study suggested that AF did not impact students’ GPA. Class standing (i.e., the fourth year) and gender (i.e., females) need to be taken into consideration when designing interventions to improve student overall fitness and academic performance in Chinese pre-service teacher populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number966
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 2 2019
Externally publishedYes



  • Academic performance
  • Future teachers
  • Health-related fitness
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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