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Title: Physical activity in the school setting: cognitive performance is not affected by three different types of acute exercise
Authors: Van den Berg, Vera
Saliasi, Emi
De Groot, Renate
Jolles, Jelle
Chin A Paw, Mai
Singh, Amika
Keywords: acute exercise
exercise type
selective attention
nformation processing speed
school setting
Issue Date: May-2016
Publisher: Frontiers in Psychology
Citation: Van den Berg, V., Saliasi,E., De Groot, R., Jolles,J., Chin A Paw, M., & Singh. A. (2016). Physical activity in the school setting: cognitive performance is not affected by three different types of acute exercise. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1-9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00723
Abstract: Recent studies indicate that a single bout of physical exercise can have immediatepositive effects on cognitive performance of children and adolescents. However, thetype of exercise that affects cognitive performance the most in young adolescents isnot fully understood. Therefore, this controlled study examined the acute effects ofthree types of 12-min classroom-based exercise sessions on information processingspeed and selective attention. The three conditions consisted of aerobic, coordination,and strength exercises, respectively. In particular, this study focused on the feasibilityand efficiency of introducing short bouts of exercise in the classroom. One hundredand ninety five students (5th and 6th grade; 10–13 years old) participated in a doublebaseline within-subjects design, with students acting as their own control. Exercise typewas randomly assigned to each class and acted as between-subject factor. Before andimmediately after both the control and the exercise session, students performed twocognitive tests that measured information processing speed (Letter Digit SubstitutionTest) and selective attention (d2 Test of Attention). The results revealed that exercisingat low to moderate intensity does not have an effect on the cognitive parameters testedin young adolescents. Furthermore, there were no differential effects of exercise type.The results of this study are discussed in terms of the caution which should be takenwhen conducting exercise sessions in a classroom setting aimed at improving cognitive performance.
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