Gymnastik- och idrottshögskolan, GIH

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Short, frequent physical activity breaks improve working memory in adolescents during prolonged sitting (AbbaH teen study)
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physical Activity and Health. (Fysisk aktivitet och hjärnhälsa)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8079-0596
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physical Activity and Health. (Fysisk aktivitet och hjärnhälsa)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7175-0093
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics. (Fysisk aktivitet och hjärnhälsa)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7456-8606
Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, GIH, Department of Physical Activity and Health. (Fysisk aktivitet och hjärnhälsa)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9526-2967
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2023 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Physical activity breaks in schools have been suggested as a promising strategy to acutely improve cognitive performance in children and adolescents. Most previous studies have explored the effects of single physical activity bouts, but they are infeasible in a school setting (e.g. long duration/high-intensity or requiring equipment/space). Further, studies investigating the underlying physiological mechanisms in adolescents arel acking. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of short, frequent physical activity breaks of different intensities on adolescents’ working memory (WM) and cerebral blood flow (CBF) during prolonged sitting.

Methods: This randomized crossover study was performed in adolescents (13-15 years of age). In 80-minute sessions, one of the following types of breaks was performed four times in three minutes durations on three different days: simple resistance training (SRA), step-up at a pre-determined pace (STEP), or remaining seated (SOCIAL). Before and after each session, WM (accuracy and reaction time during the 1,2,3-back test) were measured, with simultaneous measurement of task-related CBF (assessed by prefrontal oxygenation using functional near-infrared spectroscopy). Analysis of CBF is ongoing and will be presented at the conference.

Results: A total of 17 students participated (mean age 13.6 years, 11 girls). In the most demanding task (3-back) the following results were seen: improvement in reaction time following SRA (-30.1, p=0.04) and STEP (-34.3 ms, p=0.05) and no improvement following prolonged sitting. We also found a moderating effect (p <0.01) of WM performance at baseline (using a mean split), such that students with poor WM significantly improved their accuracy and reaction time following the higher-intensity breaks (STEP) while students with high performance did not.

Conclusion: We found that implementing physical activity breaks of both moderate and high intensities was beneficial for WM performance. For students with low WM performance, high-intensity breaks were more beneficial. Implementing physical activity breaks during periods of prolonged sitting, such as long school classes could improve the students’ cognitive performance. However, future studies should investigate if these breaks are feasible, acceptable, and beneficial to implement in the school setting.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023.
Keywords [sv]
E-PABS, EPABS, hjärnhälsa, brain health
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Medicine/Technology; Medicine/Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-7798OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-7798DiVA, id: diva2:1797703
Conference
The International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), Uppsala, Sweden, June 15-18, 2023
Part of project
E-PABS - a centre of Excellence in Physical Activity, healthy Brain functions and Sustainability, Knowledge FoundationPhysical Activity for Healthy Brain Functions in School Youth, Knowledge Foundation, Skandias Stiftelse Idéer för livet
Funder
Knowledge FoundationSkandias Stiftelse Idéer för livetThe Kamprad Family FoundationSwedish ESF Council (Council of the European Social Fund in Sweden)
Note

Partners är: IKEA, Kronprinsessparets stiftelse/Generation Pep, Storytel, SATS, Permobil

Available from: 2023-09-15 Created: 2023-09-15 Last updated: 2024-03-22Bibliographically approved

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Kjellenberg, KarinHeiland, Emerald G.Tarassova, OlgaFernström, MariaNyberg, GiselaEkblom, MariaHelgadóttir, BjörgEkblom, Örjan

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Kjellenberg, KarinHeiland, Emerald G.Tarassova, OlgaFernström, MariaNyberg, GiselaEkblom, MariaHelgadóttir, BjörgEkblom, Örjan
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Department of Physical Activity and HealthDepartment of Physiology, Nutrition and Biomechanics
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

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