The effects of physical exercise on the brain and neurocognitive functioning during childhood

Anna Meijer, Lot Verburgh, Esther Hartman

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Childhood development is a critical indicator of healthy, successful adult life. Attaining important cognitive milestones, leading to high academic achievement is associated with increased adult health, occupational success, mental health as well as a range of other important outcomes. Exercise in children is an important mediator of cognitive development, with effects on executive functioning, neurophysiology, language, and academic achievement. A combination of cognitively engaging activity and aerobic exercise seems to be the optimal application, with the largest impacts on cognition. In this chapter, the evidence surrounding physical activity and childhood cognitive development is discussed, with practical recommendations for prescribers provided.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExercise to Prevent and Manage Chronic Disease Across the Lifespan
EditorsJack Feehan, Nicholas Tripodi, Vasso Apostopoulos
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780323898430
ISBN (Print)9780323885768
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Academic achievement
  • Childhood cognitive development
  • Exercise
  • Physical activity


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