Effects of a games-based physical education lesson on cognitive function in adolescents

Gilbert, L.M. ORCID: 0000-0003-4346-7391, Dring, K.J. ORCID: 0000-0002-9647-3579, Williams, R.A. ORCID: 0000-0002-1346-7756, Boat, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-4897-8118, Sunderland, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-7484-1345, Morris, J.G. ORCID: 0000-0001-6508-7897, Nevill, M.E. and Cooper, S.B. ORCID: 0000-0001-5219-5020, 2023. Effects of a games-based physical education lesson on cognitive function in adolescents. Frontiers in Psychology, 14: 1098861. ISSN 1664-1078

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Despite the importance of physical education (PE) lessons for physical activity in adolescents, the acute cognitive responses to PE lessons have not been explored; a gap in the literature that this study addresses. Following familiarisation, 76 (39 female) adolescents (12.2 ± 0.4 y) completed two trials (60 min games-based PE lesson and 60 min academic lesson) separated by 7-d in a counterbalanced, crossover design. Attention, executive function, working memory, and perception were assessed 30 min before, immediately post, and 45 min post-lesson in both trials. Participants were split into high-and low-fit groups based on a gender-specific median split of distance run on the multi-stage fitness test. Furthermore, participants were split into high and low MVPA groups based on a gender-specific median split of MVPA time (time spent >64% HR max) during the PE lesson. Overall, a 60 min games-based PE lesson had no effect on perception, working memory, attention, or executive function in adolescents (all p > 0.05) unless MVPA time is high. The physical activity-cognition relationship was moderated by MVPA, as working memory improved post-PE lesson in adolescents who completed more MVPA during their PE lesson (time*trial*MVPA interaction, p < 0.05, partial η2 = 0.119). Furthermore, high-fit adolescents displayed superior cognitive function than their low-fit counterparts, across all domains of cognitive function (main effect of fitness, all p < 0.05, partial η2 0.014–0.121). This study provides novel evidence that MVPA time moderates the cognitive response to a games-based PE lesson; and emphasises that higher levels of fitness are beneficial for cognitive function in adolescents.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
Creators: Gilbert, L.M., Dring, K.J., Williams, R.A., Boat, R., Sunderland, C., Morris, J.G., Nevill, M.E. and Cooper, S.B.
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Date: 14 March 2023
Volume: 14
ISSN: 1664-1078
Rights: © 2023 Gilbert, Dring, Williams, Boat, Sunderland, Morris, Nevill and Cooper. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 16 Mar 2023 16:47
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2023 16:47
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/48522

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