A review of factors affecting the acute exercise-cognition relationship in children and adolescents

Williams, R.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-1346-7756, Hatch, L. ORCID: 0000-0002-0386-4926 and Cooper, S.B. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-5020, 2019. A review of factors affecting the acute exercise-cognition relationship in children and adolescents. OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine, 4 (3): 24. ISSN 2573-4393

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It is well documented that an acute bout of exercise has a positive effect on subsequent cognitive function in children and adolescents. However, the effect of: the exercise characteristics (i.e. intensity, duration and modality), the cognitive domain assessed, and moderating variables (such as the participant's age, physical fitness and baseline cognitive abilities); all of which affect this relationship are poorly understood. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to examine the impact of these variables on the acute exercise-cognition relationship in children (aged 6-11 years) and adolescents (aged 12-18 years). Searching the published literature from 2008 to date yielded 22 relevant studies in children and 14 relevant studies in adolescents. This review examines the effects of exercise characteristics (section 2), the cognitive domain assessed (section 3), and the time course of the effects (section 4), alongside the moderating effects of participant characteristics (section 5). The findings indicate that moderate intensity of ~ 30 min duration has positive effects across cognitive domains in children, whilst moderate-high intensity exercise of 10-30 min duration appears most beneficial in adolescents. Findings also suggest that the beneficial effects last for ~ 45 min post-exercise and, tentatively, may be more pronounced in children and adolescents with higher physical fitness levels. Future research in this area should continue to explore the factors (e.g. exercise characteristics, cognitive domains assessed and moderating variables) affecting the acute exercise-cognition relationship in children and adolescents. Where possible these factors should be controlled (or at the very least measured and reported), to allow a more complete interpretation of the findings and extending our understanding of this complicated relationship.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: OBM Integrative and Complementary Medicine
Creators: Williams, R.A., Hatch, L. and Cooper, S.B.
Date: 2019
Volume: 4
Number: 3
ISSN: 2573-4393
Rights: © 2019 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the conditions of the Creative Commons by Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium or format, provided the original work is correctly cited.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 24 Sep 2019 08:36
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2021 14:23
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/37745

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