Effects of physical activity on cognitive functioning in the context of academic achievement: review

Szkoła Wyższa Psychologii Społecznej w Warszawie
Studia Psychologiczne 2015;53(4):21–26
Publication date: 2016-01-07
Taking into consideration results of empirical studies from the past few years, one can conclude that physical activity has a beneficial impact on our functioning across lifespan. Current trends in science allow us to look at this issue from a different perspective. An important area which has not been examined until recently in this context is a positive influence of physical exercise on cognitive functioning. It can manifest itself in the improvement of both basic cognitive functions, like memory and more complex processes such as reasoning and decision-making, and ultimately translate into intelligence, academic performance and social relationships. Attempts to explain this mechanism were so far focused on exercise physiology, neurological analysis and social context. In this review, we will try to bring the issue of effects of physical activity on cognitive functioning throughout life, with particular emphasis on its positive implications in the development of children and adolescents