Published Jul 31, 2021

Wenye Li

Jijun Yao  

Shike Zhou


Previous studies have found that good physical exercise can promote academic performance, but the underlying mechanism behind this lacks large-scale empirical data. Based on this, we used the 2020 Jiangsu Province academic quality monitoring data to construct an OLS regression. Then, the non-cognitive abilities variable was built with the NEO-FFI Theory, and the mediation effect diagram was drawn through the Amos22.0 software. The study found that: (i) Physical exercise brought academic improvement to elementary and middle school students. (ii) The influence mechanism of physical exercise was different between elementary school and middle school. Students at the elementary school were directly and indirectly affected. (iii) In non-cognitive specific dimensions, openness played a significant and great mediating role.



Physical Exercise, Non-Cognitive Abilities, Openness, Mediating Effect

Supporting Agencies

This research is the phased result of the “Research on the Relationship between Physical Exercise and Student Development” (No.: KYCX21_1301) of the Jiangsu Province Graduate Research and Practice Innovation Program. This study was supported by the Jiangsu Provincial Superior Discipline Construction Project (PAPD).

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How to Cite
Li, W., Yao, J., & Zhou, S. (2021). How Does Physical Exercise Affect Academic Performance? The Mediating Role of Non-Cognitive Abilities . Best Evidence in Chinese Education, 8(2), 1103–1120. https://doi.org/10.15354/bece.21.or046
Original Article