Effects of physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children: a meta-analysis

Johannes W. de Greeff, Roel J. Bosker, Jaap Oosterlaan, Chris Visscher, E. Hartman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a systematic review of intervention studies that investigated the effects of physical activity on multiple domains of executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children (6–12 years of age). In addition, a systematic quantification of the effects of physical activity on these domains is provided. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: Searches of electronic databases and examining relevant reviews between 2000 and April 2017 resulted in 31 intervention studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Four subdomains of executive functions (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning), three subdomains of attention (selective, divided and sustained) and three subdomains of academic performance (mathematics, spelling and reading) were distinguished. Effects for different study designs (acute physical activity or longitudinal physical activity programs), type of physical activity (aerobic or cognitively engaging) and duration of intervention were examined separately. Results: Acute physical activity has a positive effect on attention (g = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.77; 6 studies), while longitudinal physical activity programs has a positive effect on executive functions (g = 0.24; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.39; 12 studies), attention (g = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.56, 1.24; 1 study) and academic performance (g = 0.26; 95% CI = 0.02, 0.49; 3 studies). The effects did depend on the subdomain. Conclusions: Positive effects were found for physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children. Largest effects are expected for interventions that aim for continuous regular physical activity over several weeks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-507
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Cite this

@article{60fbcdf401a44c96a180dd30c8d78f68,
title = "Effects of physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children: a meta-analysis",
abstract = "Objectives: The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a systematic review of intervention studies that investigated the effects of physical activity on multiple domains of executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children (6–12 years of age). In addition, a systematic quantification of the effects of physical activity on these domains is provided. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: Searches of electronic databases and examining relevant reviews between 2000 and April 2017 resulted in 31 intervention studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Four subdomains of executive functions (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning), three subdomains of attention (selective, divided and sustained) and three subdomains of academic performance (mathematics, spelling and reading) were distinguished. Effects for different study designs (acute physical activity or longitudinal physical activity programs), type of physical activity (aerobic or cognitively engaging) and duration of intervention were examined separately. Results: Acute physical activity has a positive effect on attention (g = 0.43; 95{\%} CI = 0.09, 0.77; 6 studies), while longitudinal physical activity programs has a positive effect on executive functions (g = 0.24; 95{\%} CI = 0.09, 0.39; 12 studies), attention (g = 0.90; 95{\%} CI = 0.56, 1.24; 1 study) and academic performance (g = 0.26; 95{\%} CI = 0.02, 0.49; 3 studies). The effects did depend on the subdomain. Conclusions: Positive effects were found for physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children. Largest effects are expected for interventions that aim for continuous regular physical activity over several weeks.",
author = "{de Greeff}, {Johannes W.} and Bosker, {Roel J.} and Jaap Oosterlaan and Chris Visscher and E. Hartman",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1016/j.jsams.2017.09.595",
language = "English",
volume = "21",
pages = "501--507",
journal = "Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport",
issn = "1440-2440",
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Effects of physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children: a meta-analysis. / de Greeff, Johannes W.; Bosker, Roel J.; Oosterlaan, Jaap; Visscher, Chris; Hartman, E.

In: Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, Vol. 21, No. 5, 2018, p. 501-507.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children: a meta-analysis

AU - de Greeff, Johannes W.

AU - Bosker, Roel J.

AU - Oosterlaan, Jaap

AU - Visscher, Chris

AU - Hartman, E.

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Objectives: The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a systematic review of intervention studies that investigated the effects of physical activity on multiple domains of executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children (6–12 years of age). In addition, a systematic quantification of the effects of physical activity on these domains is provided. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: Searches of electronic databases and examining relevant reviews between 2000 and April 2017 resulted in 31 intervention studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Four subdomains of executive functions (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning), three subdomains of attention (selective, divided and sustained) and three subdomains of academic performance (mathematics, spelling and reading) were distinguished. Effects for different study designs (acute physical activity or longitudinal physical activity programs), type of physical activity (aerobic or cognitively engaging) and duration of intervention were examined separately. Results: Acute physical activity has a positive effect on attention (g = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.77; 6 studies), while longitudinal physical activity programs has a positive effect on executive functions (g = 0.24; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.39; 12 studies), attention (g = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.56, 1.24; 1 study) and academic performance (g = 0.26; 95% CI = 0.02, 0.49; 3 studies). The effects did depend on the subdomain. Conclusions: Positive effects were found for physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children. Largest effects are expected for interventions that aim for continuous regular physical activity over several weeks.

AB - Objectives: The aim of this meta-analysis was to provide a systematic review of intervention studies that investigated the effects of physical activity on multiple domains of executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children (6–12 years of age). In addition, a systematic quantification of the effects of physical activity on these domains is provided. Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Methods: Searches of electronic databases and examining relevant reviews between 2000 and April 2017 resulted in 31 intervention studies meeting the inclusion criteria. Four subdomains of executive functions (inhibition, working memory, cognitive flexibility and planning), three subdomains of attention (selective, divided and sustained) and three subdomains of academic performance (mathematics, spelling and reading) were distinguished. Effects for different study designs (acute physical activity or longitudinal physical activity programs), type of physical activity (aerobic or cognitively engaging) and duration of intervention were examined separately. Results: Acute physical activity has a positive effect on attention (g = 0.43; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.77; 6 studies), while longitudinal physical activity programs has a positive effect on executive functions (g = 0.24; 95% CI = 0.09, 0.39; 12 studies), attention (g = 0.90; 95% CI = 0.56, 1.24; 1 study) and academic performance (g = 0.26; 95% CI = 0.02, 0.49; 3 studies). The effects did depend on the subdomain. Conclusions: Positive effects were found for physical activity on executive functions, attention and academic performance in preadolescent children. Largest effects are expected for interventions that aim for continuous regular physical activity over several weeks.

UR - https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=85031662093&origin=inward

UR - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29054748

U2 - 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.09.595

DO - 10.1016/j.jsams.2017.09.595

M3 - Review article

VL - 21

SP - 501

EP - 507

JO - Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

JF - Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport

SN - 1440-2440

IS - 5

ER -