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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Mar;44(3):550-5. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182305552.

Effects of varying type of exertion on children's attention capacity.

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  • 1Department of Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy.



The aim of this investigation was to examine the potential influence of varying types of exertion on immediate attentional performance on 138 primary school boys and girls.


Subjects performed three different types of exertion [cognitive exertion (school curricular lesson), physical exertion (traditional physical education lesson), and mixed cognitive and physical exertion (coordinative physical education lesson)] at the same time of the school day for 3 wk. Before and immediately after each exertion session, subjects were administered the d2 Test of Attention.


Results showed that participants' attentional performances were significantly affected by exertion type (cognitive exertion vs physical exertion vs mixed cognitive and physical exertion; P < 0.05), by intervention (before vs after; P < 0.05), and by exertion type √ó intervention interactions (P < 0.01).


Our findings suggest that varying types of exertion have different beneficial influences on schoolchildren's immediate cognitive performance.

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