The effects of a mid-morning bout of exercise on adolescents' cognitive function

Cooper, S.B. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-5020, Bandelow, S., Nute, M.L., Morris, J.G. ORCID: 0000-0001-6508-7897 and Nevill, M.E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2498-9493, 2012. The effects of a mid-morning bout of exercise on adolescents' cognitive function. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 5 (2), pp. 183-190. ISSN 1755-2966

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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of a mid-morning bout of exercise on adolescents’ cognitive function in a randomised crossover design where each participant completed two experimental trials. Forty-five adolescents (13.3±0.3 years old), undertook a bout of exercise (ten repeats of level one of the multi-stage fitness test, 30s rest between repeats; exercise trial) or continued to rest (resting trial). A battery of cognitive function tests assessing visuo-motor speed, executive function and working memory (visual search test, Stroop test and Sternberg paradigm, respectively) was completed 30 min before and 45 min following the exercise. Average heart rate during exercise was 172±17 beats/min. On the visual search test, there was a greater improvement in response times across the morning on the exercise trial (t=2.6, p=0.009). However, this improvement in response times was combined with a greater decrease in accuracy on the exercise trial (z=2.0, p=0.044). On the Sternberg paradigm there was a greater improvement in response times across the morning following exercise when compared to resting (t=2.6, p=0.010). The mid-morning bout of exercise did not affect Stroop test performance. These improvements in response times are most likely the result of a general speeding up of responses across several cognitive domains, because response times were improved similarly across two different domains and across all test complexity levels, rather than being restricted to the specific high cognitive load levels. Accordingly, exercise in school settings may help to improve cognitive function in adolescents during the school morning.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Mental Health and Physical Activity
Creators: Cooper, S.B., Bandelow, S., Nute, M.L., Morris, J.G. and Nevill, M.E.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 2012
Volume: 5
Number: 2
ISSN: 1755-2966
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.mhpa.2012.10.002DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 11:03
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:48
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22190

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