Improving Children's Coordinative Skills and Executive Functions: The Effects of a Football Exercise Program

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35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent studies have focused on the positive influence of regular physical activity on executive functioning in children. Coordinative skills (agility) and executive functions (updating, attention, inhibition and planning processes) were investigated in children before and after 6 months of a Football Exercise Program compared to a control group of sedentary peers. The participants were 44 children aged 8.8 years: Group 1 comprised 24 children in a football (i.e., soccer) exercise program and Group 2 comprised 20 sedentary children. At pre-test and post-test, coordinative skills and executive functions were measured. After the Football Exercise Program, there were significant differences between sport and sedentary groups in coordinative skills and executive functions. The football group at post-test showed significantly larger gains than the sedentary group on measures of agility, visuo-spatial working memory, attention, planning and inhibition. Findings shed light on the issue to plan structured sport activities as a natural and enjoyable way to improve cognitive skills.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-46
Number of pages20
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Volume122
Publication statusPublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Sensory Systems

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