After 3 years of research the SMART MOVES! consortium summarizes its first results.
The multidisciplinary SMART MOVES! Consortium, led by Amika Singh, studies if physical activity can improve cognition and learning performance in school children. The aim is to develop a feasible and effective programme in the school setting.
The most important conclusions are:
- School children have better attention with two physical activity moments during the day (compared to 1 activity moment or being inactive)
- The intensity of the physical activity break is important; research showed that at least moderate intensity is necessary for effects on attention and information processing.
- Primary school teachers are willing to implement extra physical activity moments in class. This moments should consist of ready-made, short in-between exercises and can be used when the concentration level of the class drops.
Important note: the observed effects are small. It is unclear what the direct effects of exercise on school performance of children is.