A Review of Childhood Physical Activity, Brain, and Cognition: Perspectives on the Future

in Pediatric Exercise Science

Click name to view affiliation

Charles H. HillmanNortheastern University

Search for other papers by Charles H. Hillman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
and
John R. BigganUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Search for other papers by John R. Biggan in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

This manuscript, which arose from the inaugural Tom Rowland Lecture Series at the 2016 North American Society for Pediatric Exercise Medicine conference, provides a brief descriptive review of what is known (i.e., the state of the science) regarding the relation of childhood physical activity (PA) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) to brain health, cognition, and academic outcomes. Gaps in the knowledgebase are identified, including characteristics of the PA stimulus that promotes changes in brain and cognition, whether critical periods in development exist in which PA/CRF may have a disproportionately large influence, the understanding of individual difference factors, and the influence upon learning. Lastly, several possible directions for future research are proposed. Although the field of childhood PA, CRF, brain, and cognition is rapidly expanding, there is considerable room for future growth. This manuscript may be helpful in shaping that future growth, with the goal of improving lifelong health and effective functioning.

Hillman is with the Dept. of Psychology, Northeastern University, Boston, MA. Biggan is with the Beckman Institute for Advance Science and Technology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.

Address author correspondence to Charles H. Hillman at c.hillman@northeastern.edu.
  • Collapse
  • Expand
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 4263 1574 210
Full Text Views 101 17 0
PDF Downloads 131 21 0