Effects of physical activity and motor skills on learning/executive functions | Research Seminar Series in Sport Sciences, Malmö University | Monday, March 14, 2016

Ingegerd Ericsson, Associate Professor, Dept. of Sport Sciences, Malmö University


Current recommendations for physical activity in children focus on the quantitative aspects of physical activity and selected health-related components of physical fitness (e.g. aerobic fitness, muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and body composition). The importance of motor skill acquisition early in life is often overlooked, which may limit qualitative aspects of interventions, such as motor skill development, socialisation and enjoyment of exercise (Myer, Faigenbaum, Edwards, Clark, Best, & Sallis, 2015). Cognition is grounded in perceptual-motor experiences within social and cultural contexts. Executive Functions (inhibitory control, working memory, and cognitive flexibility) are sometimes more predictive of academic achievements than even IQ or socioeconomic status (Diamond & Ling, 2016). Perceptual-motor behaviors can, according to Lobo, Harbourne, and Dusing (2013) facilitate future development and readiness to learn in school. Larger gains in aerobic fitness can however be predictive of lesser improvements in cognitive performance (Etnier, Nowell, Landers, & Sibley, 2006).

This is an installment of the Malmö Research Seminar Series in Sport Sciences, Malmö University, Spring 2016, and it’s about physical activity and motor skills. The seminar will take place at the Orkanen building (Nordenskiöldsgatan 10) in Room E121c, between 15:15 to 17:00. This seminar is in English, Swedish and Swenglish.


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