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Title:The association between light physical activity and cognition among adults: A scoping review
Author(s):Erlenbach, Emily D
Advisor(s):Gothe, Neha P; McAuley, Edward
Department / Program:Kinesiology & Community Health
Discipline:Kinesiology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):light physical activity
cognition
adult
Abstract:Background: Regular physical activity (PA) engagement is a significant predictor of cognitive function across the lifespan. Traditionally, most of this vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA). With national and global health organizations issuing concrete recommendations for weekly MVPA engagement, this intensity has become the central focus for PA researchers. However, recently light physical activity (LPA) has become an area of interest. Historically treated as a “control” condition in exercise research, recent evidence suggests that LPA may exert its own health benefits, independent of MVPA engagement. These recent studies have primarily focused on the relationship between LPA and health outcomes such as morbidity and mortality risk and have not investigated a possible relationship with cognitive function. Purpose: The purpose of this scoping review is to catalog the existing evidence on the association between objectively measured LPA and cognition among adults, identify trends in the literature, and pinpoint future areas of research to optimize the use of PA, especially LPA, to promote healthy cognitive functioning. Methods: Among the six databases searched, 38 published studies met the inclusion criteria. Sample characteristics ranged from healthy to clinical populations and were primarily conducted with young and older adults. Among the 38 articles meeting the inclusion criteria 14 were acute exercise studies, four randomized control trials (RCTs), 16 cross-sectional studies, and four longitudinal studies. Results: 7/14 (50%) acute, 3/4 (75%) RCT, 8/16 (50%) cross-sectional, and 2/4 (50%) longitudinal studies reported a significant, positive relationship between LPA and one or more cognitive outcomes. These heterogeneous findings can largely be attributed to the diverse study designs and populations, as well as the numerous assessments used to test the cognitive domains. Conclusion: The collective findings among the reviewed studies indicate that LPA holds promise to have a positive, independent influence on cognitive functioning. However, the inconsistent approaches used among these studies suggests a more concerted, unified scientific approach is need to further understand the LPA-cognition relationship.
Issue Date:2020-07-08
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/108455
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Emily Erlenbach
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-10-07
Date Deposited:2020-08


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