Publication

Effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive outcomes and academic performance in adolescents and young adults: A meta-analysis

Haverkamp, B. F., Wiersma, R., Vertessen, K., van Ewijk, H., Oosterlaan, J. & Hartman, E., 12-Aug-2020, In : Journal of Sports Sciences. p. 1-24 24 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The aim was to provide a meta-analysis of studies investigating the effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive outcomes and academic performance in adolescents or young adults. A systematic review with meta-analysis was performed using the following databases: Embase, ERIC, MEDLINE, PsycINFO and Web of Science. Studies had to meet the following criteria: controlled study design, investigating the effects of physical activity interventions on cognitive outcomes and academic performance in healthy adolescents or young adults (12-30 years). Results showed that acute interventions (n=44) significantly improved processing speed (ES=0.39), attention (ES=0.34) and, inhibition (ES=0.32). In a subsequent meta-regression, shorter duration of intervention was significantly associated with greater improvements in attention (β=-0.02) and cognitive flexibility (β=-0.04), whereas age, percentage of boys, intensity and dose were not. Chronic interventions (n=27) significantly improved processing speed (ES=0.30), attention (ES=0.50), cognitive flexibility (ES=0.19), working memory (ES=0.59) and language skills (ES=0.31). In the meta-regression, higher percentage of boys was significantly associated with greater improvements in attention (β=0.02) and working memory (β=0.01) whereas age, duration, frequency, dose and load were not. In conclusion, acute and chronic physical activity interventions might be a promising way to improve several cognitive outcomes and language skills in adolescents and young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12-Aug-2020

ID: 131513124