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It is now fairly well-recognized that PA is associated with the maintenance of cognitive function in older adults  Cognitive dysfunctions in older adults is becoming an urgent public health problem, given the ever-rising average life expectancy and the associated growth in the proportion of old and very old individuals in most societies.
A positive association between PA and cognitive health is also suspected in younger subjects, but is not as well documented in this age group.
The databases searched included MEDLINE (1966 to 2007), PSYCHINFO (1974 to 2007), SCHOLAR. COM, and ERIC, as well as the extensive personal databases of the authors.
The reference lists of the articles thus identified were also consulted to identify additional potentially-relevant research.
The outcomes of school PA/PE and academic achievement, success or performance were actual or self-reported grade point average (GPA) and determinants of GPA that could potentially be changed by the interventions (concentration, learning, classroom behaviour, engagement in learning, self-esteem, etc.).
The terms physical education, physical activity and sports are, for the purposes of this review, restricted to programmes offered within the school context (i.e.
A second quasi-experimental study conducted in the Trois-Rivières region (Québec) between 19 involved 546 primary school students; this noted that students involved in an experimental 5 hours of physical education per week had a higher academic performance than their control counterparts who were enrolled in the normal school program for 40 min per week .
It is not surprising that no randomized controlled trials were identified, as they are not practicable in this type of research setting.
During standardized Provincial examinations, children receiving the 5 hours/week of PE had higher scores in mathematics, but lower scores in English (their second language), despite the fact that 33 minutes were removed from mathematics instruction and none from English.
 Subgroups of children were taught PE by either a professional physical educator (n = 178), a trained homeroom teacher (n = 312), or in the normal programme (n = 165).
an average 14% curtailment of academic instruction).
Despite this curricular change, during the last 5 years of primary school, the overall academic performance of the experimental students improved relative to the controls.