Boost your brain, while having a break! The effects of long-term cognitively engaging physical activity breaks on children’s executive functions and academic achievement

Egger, Fabienne; Benzing, Valentin; Conzelmann, Achim; Schmidt, Mirko (2019). Boost your brain, while having a break! The effects of long-term cognitively engaging physical activity breaks on children’s executive functions and academic achievement. PLoS ONE, 14(3), e0212482. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0212482

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Classroom-based physical activity (PA) is gaining attention in terms of its potential to enhance children’s cognitive functions, but it remains unclear as to which specific modality of PA affects cognitive functions most. The aim of the study was to examine the effects of qualitatively different PA breaks on children’s cognitive outcomes. Children (N = 142) aged between 7 and 9 years were allocated to a 20-week classroom-based PA program, with either high physical exertion and high cognitive engagement (combo group), high physical exertion and low cognitive engagement (aerobic group), or low physical exertion and high cognitive engagement (cognition group). Executive functions (updating, inhibition, shifting) and academic achievement (mathematics, spelling, reading) were measured pre- and post-intervention. Results showed that the combo group profited the most displaying enhanced shifting and mathematic performance. The cognition group profited only in terms of enhanced mathematic performance, whereas the aerobic group remained unaffected. These results suggest that the inclusion of cognitively engaging PA breaks seem to be a promising way to enhance school children’s cognitive functions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science I

UniBE Contributor:

Egger, Fabienne; Benzing, Valentin Johannes; Conzelmann, Achim and Schmidt, Mirko

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment

ISSN:

1932-6203

Publisher:

Public Library of Science

Language:

English

Submitter:

Edith Desideria Imthurn

Date Deposited:

19 Feb 2020 12:28

Last Modified:

23 Feb 2020 02:49

Publisher DOI:

10.1371/journal.pone.0212482

PubMed ID:

30840640

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Exercise, Schools, Children, Teachers, Cognitive Psychology, Reaction time, Cognition, Physical activity

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.140210

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/140210

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