Dataset Open Access

Motor skills and exercise capacity are associated with objective measures of cognitive functions and academic performance in preadolescent children

Geertsen, Svend Sparre; Thomas, Richard; Larsen, Malte Nejst; Dahn, Ida Marie; Andersen, Josefine Needham; Krause-Jensen, Matilde; Korup, Vibeke; Nielsen, Claus Malta; Wienecke, Jacob; Ritz, Christian; Krustrup, Peter; Lundbye-Jensen, Jesper

Objective: To investigate associations between motor skills, exercise capacity and cognitive functions, and evaluate how they correlate to academic performance in mathematics and reading comprehension using standardised, objective tests.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 423 Danish children (age: 9.29±0.35 years, 209 girls). Fine and gross motor skills were evaluated in a visuomotor accuracy-tracking task, and a whole-body coordination task, respectively. Exercise capacity was estimated from the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 children's test (YYIR1C). Selected tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) were used to assess different domains of cognitive functions, including sustained attention, spatial working memory, episodic and semantic memory, and processing speed. Linear mixed-effects models were used to investigate associations between these measures and the relationship with standard tests of academic performance in mathematics and reading comprehension.

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