Effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children and adolescents: A novel combination of a systematic review and recommendations from an expert panel

Amika S. Singh, Emi Saliasi, Vera van den Berg, Leonie Uijtdewilligen, Renate H. M. de Groot, Jelle Jolles, Lars B. Andersen, Richard Bailey, Yu-Kai Chang, Adele Diamond, Ingegerd Ericsson, Jennifer L. Etnier, Alicia L. Fedewa, Charles H. Hillman, Terry McMorris, Caterina Pesce, Uwe Pühse, Phillip D. Tomporowski, Mai J. M. Chinapaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To summarise the current evidence on the effects of physical activity (PA) interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children, and formulate research priorities and recommendations. Design: Systematic review (following PRISMA guidelines) with a methodological quality assessment and an international expert panel. We based the evaluation of the consistency of the scientific evidence on the findings reported in studies rated as of high methodological quality. Data sources: PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central, Web of Science, ERIC, and SPORTDiscus. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: PA-intervention studies in children with at least one cognitive or academic performance assessment. Results: Eleven (19%) of 58 included intervention studies received a high-quality rating for methodological quality: four assessed effects of PA interventions on cognitive performance, six assessed effects on academic performance, and one on both. All high-quality studies contrasted the effects of additional/adapted PA activities with regular curriculum activities. For cognitive performance 10 of 21 (48%) constructs analysed showed statistically significant beneficial intervention effects of PA, while for academic performance, 15 of 25 (60%) analyses found a significant beneficial effect of PA. Across all five studies assessing PA effects on mathematics, beneficial effects were reported in six out of seven (86%) outcomes. Experts put forward 46 research questions. The most pressing research priority cluster concerned the causality of the relationship between PA and cognitive/academic performance. The remaining clusters pertained to PA characteristics, moderators and mechanisms governing the 'PA-performance' relationship and miscellaneous topics. Conclusion: There is currently inconclusive evidence for the beneficial effects of PA interventions on cognitive and overall academic performance in children. We conclude that there is strong evidence for beneficial effects of PA on maths performance. The expert panel confirmed that more 'high-quality' research is warranted. By prioritising the most important research questions and formulating recommendations we aim to guide researchers in generating high-quality evidence. Our recommendations focus on adequate control groups and sample size, the use of valid and reliable measurement instruments for physical activity and cognitive performance, measurement of compliance and data analysis. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017082505.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish journal of sports medicine
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2018

Cite this

Singh, Amika S. ; Saliasi, Emi ; van den Berg, Vera ; Uijtdewilligen, Leonie ; de Groot, Renate H. M. ; Jolles, Jelle ; Andersen, Lars B. ; Bailey, Richard ; Chang, Yu-Kai ; Diamond, Adele ; Ericsson, Ingegerd ; Etnier, Jennifer L. ; Fedewa, Alicia L. ; Hillman, Charles H. ; McMorris, Terry ; Pesce, Caterina ; Pühse, Uwe ; Tomporowski, Phillip D. ; Chinapaw, Mai J. M. / Effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children and adolescents: A novel combination of a systematic review and recommendations from an expert panel. In: British journal of sports medicine. 2018.
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title = "Effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children and adolescents: A novel combination of a systematic review and recommendations from an expert panel",
abstract = "Objective: To summarise the current evidence on the effects of physical activity (PA) interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children, and formulate research priorities and recommendations. Design: Systematic review (following PRISMA guidelines) with a methodological quality assessment and an international expert panel. We based the evaluation of the consistency of the scientific evidence on the findings reported in studies rated as of high methodological quality. Data sources: PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central, Web of Science, ERIC, and SPORTDiscus. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: PA-intervention studies in children with at least one cognitive or academic performance assessment. Results: Eleven (19{\%}) of 58 included intervention studies received a high-quality rating for methodological quality: four assessed effects of PA interventions on cognitive performance, six assessed effects on academic performance, and one on both. All high-quality studies contrasted the effects of additional/adapted PA activities with regular curriculum activities. For cognitive performance 10 of 21 (48{\%}) constructs analysed showed statistically significant beneficial intervention effects of PA, while for academic performance, 15 of 25 (60{\%}) analyses found a significant beneficial effect of PA. Across all five studies assessing PA effects on mathematics, beneficial effects were reported in six out of seven (86{\%}) outcomes. Experts put forward 46 research questions. The most pressing research priority cluster concerned the causality of the relationship between PA and cognitive/academic performance. The remaining clusters pertained to PA characteristics, moderators and mechanisms governing the 'PA-performance' relationship and miscellaneous topics. Conclusion: There is currently inconclusive evidence for the beneficial effects of PA interventions on cognitive and overall academic performance in children. We conclude that there is strong evidence for beneficial effects of PA on maths performance. The expert panel confirmed that more 'high-quality' research is warranted. By prioritising the most important research questions and formulating recommendations we aim to guide researchers in generating high-quality evidence. Our recommendations focus on adequate control groups and sample size, the use of valid and reliable measurement instruments for physical activity and cognitive performance, measurement of compliance and data analysis. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017082505.",
author = "Singh, {Amika S.} and Emi Saliasi and {van den Berg}, Vera and Leonie Uijtdewilligen and {de Groot}, {Renate H. M.} and Jelle Jolles and Andersen, {Lars B.} and Richard Bailey and Yu-Kai Chang and Adele Diamond and Ingegerd Ericsson and Etnier, {Jennifer L.} and Fedewa, {Alicia L.} and Hillman, {Charles H.} and Terry McMorris and Caterina Pesce and Uwe P{\"u}hse and Tomporowski, {Phillip D.} and Chinapaw, {Mai J. M.}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1136/bjsports-2017-098136",
language = "English",
journal = "BJSM Online",
issn = "1473-0480",

}

Singh, AS, Saliasi, E, van den Berg, V, Uijtdewilligen, L, de Groot, RHM, Jolles, J, Andersen, LB, Bailey, R, Chang, Y-K, Diamond, A, Ericsson, I, Etnier, JL, Fedewa, AL, Hillman, CH, McMorris, T, Pesce, C, Pühse, U, Tomporowski, PD & Chinapaw, MJM 2018, 'Effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children and adolescents: A novel combination of a systematic review and recommendations from an expert panel' British journal of sports medicine. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2017-098136

Effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children and adolescents: A novel combination of a systematic review and recommendations from an expert panel. / Singh, Amika S.; Saliasi, Emi; van den Berg, Vera; Uijtdewilligen, Leonie; de Groot, Renate H. M.; Jolles, Jelle; Andersen, Lars B.; Bailey, Richard; Chang, Yu-Kai; Diamond, Adele; Ericsson, Ingegerd; Etnier, Jennifer L.; Fedewa, Alicia L.; Hillman, Charles H.; McMorris, Terry; Pesce, Caterina; Pühse, Uwe; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; Chinapaw, Mai J. M.

In: British journal of sports medicine, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children and adolescents: A novel combination of a systematic review and recommendations from an expert panel

AU - Singh, Amika S.

AU - Saliasi, Emi

AU - van den Berg, Vera

AU - Uijtdewilligen, Leonie

AU - de Groot, Renate H. M.

AU - Jolles, Jelle

AU - Andersen, Lars B.

AU - Bailey, Richard

AU - Chang, Yu-Kai

AU - Diamond, Adele

AU - Ericsson, Ingegerd

AU - Etnier, Jennifer L.

AU - Fedewa, Alicia L.

AU - Hillman, Charles H.

AU - McMorris, Terry

AU - Pesce, Caterina

AU - Pühse, Uwe

AU - Tomporowski, Phillip D.

AU - Chinapaw, Mai J. M.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Objective: To summarise the current evidence on the effects of physical activity (PA) interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children, and formulate research priorities and recommendations. Design: Systematic review (following PRISMA guidelines) with a methodological quality assessment and an international expert panel. We based the evaluation of the consistency of the scientific evidence on the findings reported in studies rated as of high methodological quality. Data sources: PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central, Web of Science, ERIC, and SPORTDiscus. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: PA-intervention studies in children with at least one cognitive or academic performance assessment. Results: Eleven (19%) of 58 included intervention studies received a high-quality rating for methodological quality: four assessed effects of PA interventions on cognitive performance, six assessed effects on academic performance, and one on both. All high-quality studies contrasted the effects of additional/adapted PA activities with regular curriculum activities. For cognitive performance 10 of 21 (48%) constructs analysed showed statistically significant beneficial intervention effects of PA, while for academic performance, 15 of 25 (60%) analyses found a significant beneficial effect of PA. Across all five studies assessing PA effects on mathematics, beneficial effects were reported in six out of seven (86%) outcomes. Experts put forward 46 research questions. The most pressing research priority cluster concerned the causality of the relationship between PA and cognitive/academic performance. The remaining clusters pertained to PA characteristics, moderators and mechanisms governing the 'PA-performance' relationship and miscellaneous topics. Conclusion: There is currently inconclusive evidence for the beneficial effects of PA interventions on cognitive and overall academic performance in children. We conclude that there is strong evidence for beneficial effects of PA on maths performance. The expert panel confirmed that more 'high-quality' research is warranted. By prioritising the most important research questions and formulating recommendations we aim to guide researchers in generating high-quality evidence. Our recommendations focus on adequate control groups and sample size, the use of valid and reliable measurement instruments for physical activity and cognitive performance, measurement of compliance and data analysis. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017082505.

AB - Objective: To summarise the current evidence on the effects of physical activity (PA) interventions on cognitive and academic performance in children, and formulate research priorities and recommendations. Design: Systematic review (following PRISMA guidelines) with a methodological quality assessment and an international expert panel. We based the evaluation of the consistency of the scientific evidence on the findings reported in studies rated as of high methodological quality. Data sources: PubMed, PsycINFO, Cochrane Central, Web of Science, ERIC, and SPORTDiscus. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: PA-intervention studies in children with at least one cognitive or academic performance assessment. Results: Eleven (19%) of 58 included intervention studies received a high-quality rating for methodological quality: four assessed effects of PA interventions on cognitive performance, six assessed effects on academic performance, and one on both. All high-quality studies contrasted the effects of additional/adapted PA activities with regular curriculum activities. For cognitive performance 10 of 21 (48%) constructs analysed showed statistically significant beneficial intervention effects of PA, while for academic performance, 15 of 25 (60%) analyses found a significant beneficial effect of PA. Across all five studies assessing PA effects on mathematics, beneficial effects were reported in six out of seven (86%) outcomes. Experts put forward 46 research questions. The most pressing research priority cluster concerned the causality of the relationship between PA and cognitive/academic performance. The remaining clusters pertained to PA characteristics, moderators and mechanisms governing the 'PA-performance' relationship and miscellaneous topics. Conclusion: There is currently inconclusive evidence for the beneficial effects of PA interventions on cognitive and overall academic performance in children. We conclude that there is strong evidence for beneficial effects of PA on maths performance. The expert panel confirmed that more 'high-quality' research is warranted. By prioritising the most important research questions and formulating recommendations we aim to guide researchers in generating high-quality evidence. Our recommendations focus on adequate control groups and sample size, the use of valid and reliable measurement instruments for physical activity and cognitive performance, measurement of compliance and data analysis. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42017082505.

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UR - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30061304

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DO - 10.1136/bjsports-2017-098136

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SN - 1473-0480

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