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The relation between children's aerobic fitness and executive functions : a systematic review
Tijdschriftbijdrage - Review Artikel
A beneficial effect of physical activity on cognitive functioning is supposed, although to a certain extent, literature remains inconsistent. Furthermore, the mediating effect of aerobic fitness on this association remains unclear, especially in children. This review presents data from 26 articles on the relation between aerobic fitness and executive functions (i.e., inhibition, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) in prepubertal children (6-12 years). The qualitative synthesis was complicated by the use of diverse outcome measures to evaluate executive functions and the inconsistent inclusion of confounders. In general, cross-sectional studies reported enhanced executive functioning in children with higher aerobic fitness levels. Only three intervention studies with inconclusive results were retrieved. Whereas a beneficial effect of aerobic fitness on executive functioning in children is often supposed, the available research does not allow to draw a causal conclusion. Good quality randomized-controlled trials are necessary. Highlights This study reviewed the supposed mediating effect of aerobic fitness on the positive association between physical activity and executive functioning. Three intervention studies and 23 cross-sectional studies confirmed a positive correlation between aerobic fitness and certain measures of executive functioning. A causal conclusion about the beneficial effect of aerobic fitness on executive functioning cannot be drawn from this review.
Tijdschrift: INFANT AND CHILD DEVELOPMENT
Jaar van publicatie:2020