Purpose: Physical activity (PA) and sedentary behavior (SB) seem to have respectively beneficial and detrimental effects on school performance, but evidence for a causal relationship in vocational education and training (VET) students is lacking. This is surprising, as VET students (±16-20 years) stand to benefit because the prefrontal cortex is developing during this age and is therefore sensitive to PA/SB interventions. Furthermore, students in VET have low activity levels in general, meaning enhanced PA/SB behavior could lead to improvement on cognition and learning. The goal of this project is investigating causal effects of PA/SB interventions on a variety of learning performance measures in VET students. Depending on the kind of intervention and the potential mechanisms underlying acute, short-term, or long-term effects, outcome measures vary from specific effects on cognition, to more general effects on school performance, and vital citizenship/employeeship. Methods: In four closely interlinked studies we investigate the causal effects of ‘sedentary behavior repression interventions’ on cognition, school performance, and 21st century skills in VET students. Study 1 (observational) elucidates habitual, objectively measured PA patterns of VET students and their potential association with cognitive performance, school performance, and proxies of vital citizenship and employeeship. Studies 2 and 3 (fundamental) investigate acute interventions in randomized controlled experiments in school settings, controlling for study discipline (physically active versus sedentary disciplines) to determine possible causal effects of PA/SB interventions on cognitive performance and proxies of vital citizenship and employeeship and their underlying mechanisms. Study 4 (ecological experiment) is a long-term intervention developed for the VET setting based on results from the first three studies and literature. Cognition is tested by the Stroop Test, Symbol Digit Modalities Test, and N-back task. School performance is operationalized as scores on Dutch and mathematics; absenteeism/dropout; and the Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire. Vital employeeship/citizenship is measured as collaboration and creativity (GAU, divergent thinking). Where applicable habitual daily activity is measured by accelerometry. Results/Conclusions: Besides scientific output, we deliver tailor-made PA/SB advice and programs for VET students and teachers, taking into account their interests, needs, and possibilities. Furthermore, PHIT2LEARN produces educative materials for students, parents, and teachers.
|Publication status||Published - 10 Jun 2017|
|Event||sixteenth annual meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity - Victoria Conference Centre, Victoria, Canada|
Duration: 7 Jun 2017 → 10 Jun 2017
Conference number: 16
|Conference||sixteenth annual meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity|
|Period||7/06/17 → 10/06/17|
- Physical activity
- Executive function
- Cognitive control
- Vocational education and training
- Study performance
- Sedentary behavior
De Groot, R., Ramakers, B., Savelberg, H., Chin A Paw, M., Singh, A., & Gijselaers, J. (2017). PHIT2LEARN, PHysical activity InTerventions to enhance LEARNing in vocational education and training. Poster session presented at sixteenth annual meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Victoria, Canada.