Exercise of Varying Durations: No Acute Effects on Cognitive Performance in Adolescents

Vera van den Berg, Emi Saliasi, Jelle Jolles, Renate H M de Groot, Mai J M Chinapaw, Amika S Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Participation in structured physical activity is assumed to have a positive effect on cognitive and academic performance. A single bout of moderate to vigorous exercise has been found to have a small acute positive effect on the cognitive performance of children and adolescents. However, the dose-response effects of exercise duration are largely unknown. Therefore, the current study examined the acute effects of moderate-to-vigorous exercise with a duration of either 10, 20, or 30 min on selective attention and working memory performance of young adolescents. One hundred and nineteen adolescents (11-14 years old) participated in a randomized, controlled crossover study. Adolescents were assigned to one of the three exercise durations, each paired with a sedentary control session of the same duration. Cognitive performance was measured before and immediately after the exercise and control condition. The Attention Network Test and n-back task were used to measure selective attention and working memory, respectively. There were no significant exercise effects on selective attention (i.e., alerting, orienting, or executive control) or working memory performance measured immediately after the exercise bouts. Furthermore, there were no differential effects of exercise duration. In sum, acute exercise bouts with a duration of 10, 20, or 30 min did not improve, but neither deteriorate cognitive performance of young adolescents compared to a sedentary control condition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number672
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2018

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Keywords

  • ACADEMIC-ACHIEVEMENT
  • DOSE-RESPONSE
  • EXECUTIVE FUNCTION
  • MODERATE AEROBIC EXERCISE
  • ON-TASK BEHAVIOR
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • PREADOLESCENT CHILDREN
  • SCHOOL-CHILDREN
  • SELECTIVE ATTENTION
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • adolescents
  • children
  • cognitive performance
  • dose-response
  • exercise duration
  • physical activity
  • selective attention
  • working memory

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