PURPOSE: The aim of this investigation was to examine the potential influence of varying types of exertion on immediate attentional performance on 138 primary school boys and girls. METHODS: Subjects performed three different types of exertion [cognitive exertion (school curricular lesson), physical exertion (traditional physical education lesson), and mixed cognitive and physical exertion (coordinative physical education lesson)] at the same time of the school day for 3 wk. Before and immediately after each exertion session, subjects were administered the d2 Test of Attention. RESULTS: Results showed that participants' attentional performances were significantly affected by exertion type (cognitive exertion vs physical exertion vs mixed cognitive and physical exertion; P < 0.05), by intervention (before vs after; P < 0.05), and by exertion type × intervention interactions (P < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that varying types of exertion have different beneficial influences on schoolchildren's immediate cognitive performance. © 2012 by the American College of Sports Medicine.
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