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Characteristics of extracurricular physical activity and cognitive performance in adolescents. The AVENA study

AuthorsEsteban-Cornejo, Irene; Gómez Martínez, Sonia ; Tejero-González, Carlos M.; Castillo-Gualda, Ruth; Lanza-Saiz, R.; Vicente-Rodríguez, G.; Marcos, Ascensión ; Martínez Gómez, D.
KeywordsCognitive performance
Extracurricular physical activity
Issue Date2014
PublisherTaylor & Francis
CitationJournal of Sports Sciences 32: 1596- 1603 (2014)
AbstractThe aim of this report was to examine the associations between some characteristics (i.e., structure and number) of extracurricular physical activity (EPA) and cognitive performance in adolescents. A total of 1662 adolescents (880 girls; 13.0-18.5 years) from 5 Spanish cities (Granada, Madrid, Murcia, Santander and Zaragoza) were included in this study. Structure (organised and non-organised) and number of EPAs, and participation at vigorous intensity during EPA were self-reported. Cognitive performance (verbal, numeric and reasoning abilities, and an overall score) was measured with the >SRA-Test of Educational Ability>. Results showed that vigorous EPA was positively associated with all cognitive variables. Adolescents who practiced an organised EPA had higher scores in 3 of the 4 cognitive variables than those who practiced a non-organised EPA (all P < 0.05). Likewise, the group who participated in more than one EPA had higher cognitive performance in all variables than the group who participated in only one EPA (all P < 0.05). Regardless of potential confounder variables, including vigorous EPA, both structure and number of EPAs were each other independently associated with cognitive performance. Therefore, structure and number of EPAs may positively influence cognitive performance in adolescents. Participating in multiple, organised EPA may have benefits for cognitive performance.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1080/02640414.2014.910607
issn: 0264-0414
Appears in Collections:(ICTAN) Artículos
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