Literature Review

Initiative Description: School-, home-, or community-based physical activity intervention or laboratory-based exercise interventions were assessed. Studies were eligible if they reported statistical analyses of changes in the following: (1) cognition or mental health; and (2) neurobiological, psychosocial, and behavioral mechanisms.

Study Results: The strongest evidence was found for improvements in physical self-perceptions, which accompanied enhanced self-esteem in the majority of studies measuring these outcomes.

Reference: Lubans, D., Richards, J., Hillman, C., Faulkner, G., Beauchamp, M., Nilsson, M., . . . Biddle, S. (2016). Physical Activity for Cognitive and Mental Health in Youth: A Systematic Review of Mechanisms. Pediatrics,138(3). doi:10.1542/peds.2016-1642

Level of Evidence: 2 out of 5 stars Good