Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

The effects of a moderate-to-high intensity interval exercise training programme on selective and sustained attention in schoolchildren aged 11 and 12

Jaume Gelabert, Ricardo de la Vega, Pere Palou-Sampol, Adrià Muntaner-Mas

DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2023.181.17

Abstract

Physical activity has been shown to have positive benefits on many brain function indices. Nonetheless, evidence is scant regarding attention. This study therefore aimed to analyse the chronic effects of an interval physical exercise programme at moderate-to-high intensity on selective and sustained attention indicators amongst schoolchildren aged 11 and 12 years old. They were part of a total sample of 56 schoolchildren split evenly between the experimental and control groups. The programme ran for seven weeks with 30-minute sessions three times per week. Interval games were performed with motor, cognitive and coordination challenges at 70-80% of maximum heart rate. Selective attention was recorded via a cancellation task (d2-Test) and sustained attention via a computer vigilance task (CSAT-II). The results showed no significant changes in any selective or sustained attention indicator. In short, the implemented programme did not show it generated chronic effects on selective or sustained attention. Future research is required to provide more evidence on physical activity programmes in schools that explore changes in selective and sustained attention.


Keywords

Cognition; Youth; Physical exercise; Physical activity; Physical education; Children; Exercise

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2023.181.17





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