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Revista Andaluza de Medicina del Deporte

On-line version ISSN 2172-5063Print version ISSN 1888-7546


RELOBA, S.; CHIROSA, L.J.  and  REIGAL, R.E.. Relation of physical activity, cognitive and academic performance in children: Review of current literature. Rev Andal Med Deporte [online]. 2016, vol.9, n.4, pp.166-172. ISSN 2172-5063.


Although the benefits of physical activity on different aspects related to health in children are widely contrasted, the association between physical activity and cognition does not seem so clear. The aim of this review was to examine the effects of exercise on cognitive performance of children and to determine the kind of physical activity more suitable to get it.


MEDLINE/Pub-Med, SCOPUS, DIALNET and Google Scholar were reviewed attending to effects of physical activity on cognitive process in children 6 to 12 years-old. The collecting was limited to original articles in English or Spanish language, published between January 1999 and March 2014.


A total of 27 publications were analyzed. Physical activity has a positive influence on cognitive achievement although these effects were not significant in short-term academic performance.


The use of academic performance as variable using official marks is not advisable, most articles reviews has weak results. On the other hand there seems to be a strong relationship between intensity of physical activity and executive functions.

Keywords : Physical activity; Intensity; Cognition; Cognitive performance; Children.

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