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Impact of Physical Activity on Working Memory of 10-11 year old Children from Colombo Educational zone

Authors:

Shanshika Pramodini Maddumage ,

University of Colombo, LK
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Sameera Madusanka Withanage,

University of Colombo, LK
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Pujitha Wickramasinghe

University of Colombo, LK
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Abstract

Abstract Background and objectives: Physical activity has a greater influence on children’s health and cognition. Working memory, a key aspect of cognitive function, is heavily implicated in classroom activities. As cognitive function improves in younger ages, identifying a relationship between physical activity and working memory would be more beneficial to the child population. The objective of the study is to describe physical activity level, working memory capacity and to determine their relationship between 10-11 year old children. Methods: A cross sectional study, was done involving 180 (90 boys), 10-11 year old children randomly selected from six schools in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Physical activity questionnaire for children (PAQ-C) was used to assess physical activity level. Wall mounted stadiometer and electronic weighting scale were used to assess height and weight. To assess verbal and nonverbal components of working memory, digit span test (forward and backward) and Corsi block tapping test (forward and backward) were used. Ethical clearance was obtained from Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo. Data was analyzed using independent sample t test, Pearson correlation test and one way ANOVA test on SPSS version 25. Results: Mean PAQ-C score and mean scores for digit span tests and Corsi block tapping forward test were significantly higher in boys compared to girls (p<0.05). Positive correlations were found between physical activity level and digit span forward test (r=0.49; p<0.01), Corsi block tapping forward test(r = 0.31; p<0.01) and Corsi block tapping backward test (r=0.52; p<001). Conclusion: Increased physical activity levels lead to increase in working memory capacity. Gender difference was observed in physical activity level and working memory capacity where boys outperformed girls.
How to Cite: Maddumage, S.P., Withanage, S.M. and Wickramasinghe, P., 2021. Impact of Physical Activity on Working Memory of 10-11 year old Children from Colombo Educational zone. Journal of the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, 8(1), pp.E139 1–13. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/jpgim.8271
Published on 30 Jun 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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