Investigative links between cognitive function and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in elementary physical education
Pirrie, A. Melissa.
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Research has noted both physical and psychosocial benefits when children participate in regular physical activity. Recent studies are indicating that there may also be academic benefits and that students may be more efficient learners with participation in physical activity. This study investigated the influence of acute moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on four cognitive functions: planning, attention, simultaneous processing, and successive processing. Three classes (59 students) were each tested twice using a balanced design (intervention, balance, and control groups). It was found that the intervention group had a large increase in planning abiHty (ES = 1.67) when compared to the balance (ES = .80) and control (ES = -.89) groups. On the three remaining cognitive functions, the intervention group showed effect sizes similar to that of the balance and control groups. These results indicate that improved planning after physical activity may playa role in improving student performance.