Physical Activity and Cognitive Functioning of Children: A Systematic Review

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  1. Although it is evident that physical activity is related to physical and mental health [23], the relation between physical activity and cognitive functioning requires further study. Cognitive functions include: memory, attention, visual-spatial, and executive functions, while complex cognitive processes include: thinking (abstract, cause and effect, creative thinking, and planning) and language functions [24]. Some report that sports have a positive influence [3,26,27,28,29], particularly on executive functions, which develop intensively in this period [28,30], as well as mention the positive impact of regular and irregular exercises which lead to an increase in the level of oxyhemoglobin that facilitates the operation of executive functions for up to 30 minutes [31]. Others, however, do not confirm this positive influence of physical activity on cognitive functioning [32,33].

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