The JCHAL abstract was awarded at the The Physiology That Unites Exercise and Cognition symposium

The abstract titled ”Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Relation to Academic Achievement in Children” was awarded at the The Physiology That Unites Exercise and Cognition symposium held in Kuopio, Finland, in April 2016.  The symposium was organized by Dr. Lara R. DeRuisseau and sponsored by American Physiological Society, University of Eastern Finland, Finnish Physiological Society, and Finland Fulbright.

Rationale to investigate the relationships between physical activity, sedentary time, and academic performance is that less than half of children and adolescents undertake the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily and most of their waking hours in sedentary behavior. Some evidence suggest a positive association between physical activity and academic performance but longitudinal studies are few. Therefore we investigated the independent and combined associations of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary time with academic performance in Finnish primary school children.

Participants in the present study were 89 boys and 69 girls aged 6–8 years. moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sedentary time were measured using a combined heart rate and movement sensor in Grade 1. Reading fluency, reading comprehension, and arithmetic skills were assessed using standardized tests in Grades 1–3.

The main findings from this study was that lower levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and higher levels of sedentary time and particularly their combination were related to poorer reading skills in boys. In girls, higher levels of sedentary time were related to better arithmetic skills but this association was modified by body fat percentage.

Haapala_Physiology that unites exercise and cognition

Figure. Poster presented at the symposium.

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