UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Impacts of Participation in Community-Based Physical Activity Programs on Cognitive Functions of Children and Youth with Neurodevelopmental Disabilities: A Scoping Review Gitimoghaddam, Mojgan; Vanderloo, Leigh M.; Hung, Rebecca; Ryce, Andrea; McKellin, William; Miller, Anton; Collet, Jean-Paul


This review paper aimed to undertake an extensive exploration of the extent, range, and nature of research activities regarding the effect and emerging evidence in the field of physical activity interventions on cognitive development among children and youth (0–17.99 years) with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD), and to help identify key gaps in research and determine precise research questions for future investigations. To carry out this scoping review, five electronic databases were searched. A total of 12,097 articles were retrieved via search efforts with an additional 93 articles identified from the identified review papers. Sixty articles were eligible for inclusion. The results of this scoping review revealed many positive key cognitive outcomes related to physical activity including, but not limited to: focus, attention, self-control, cognitive process, and alertness. No studies reported a negative association between physical activity and cognitive outcomes. Based on the findings from this scoping review, physical activity appears to have a favorable impact on the cognitive outcomes of children and youth with NDD.

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