Sedentary Time, Physical Activity, and Executive Function in a Longitudinal Study of Youth

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

This study examined associations between sedentary time, physical activity (PA), and executive function among youth participating in the Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development.

Methods:

Sedentary time and PA (light, moderate, vigorous, and moderate-to-vigorous (MVPA)) were objectively assessed at 9 and 15 years, while executive function (inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence) were assessed at 15 years. Regression models were used to examine associations.

Results:

Sedentary time at 9 years predicted fluid intelligence at 15 years (B = 0.031), whereas increased sedentary time from 9 to 15 years predicted higher inhibition (B = 0.003), working memory (B = 0.074), and fluid intelligence (B = 0.029). Relatively lower levels of working memory at 15 years were predicted from increased levels of light PA, moderate PA, and MVPA from 9 to 15 years (B = –0.075, –0.293, and –0.173, respectively). At 15 years, inhibition, working memory, and fluid intelligence were significantly associated with sedentary time (B = 0.003, 0.055, and 0.045, respectively).

Conclusions:

Childhood sedentary time and PA may affect executive function at 15 years; however, prospective studies are needed to examine the concurrent change in both sedentary time and PA with executive function.

Wickel (eric-wickel@utulsa.edu) is with the Dept of Kinesiology and Rehabilitative Sciences, Oxley College of Health Sciences, University of Tulsa, Tulsa OK.

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