The relationship between habitual physical activity, sitting time, and cognitive function in young adult women

Eka Peng Cox, Rebecca Cook, Nicholas O'Dwyer, Cheyne Donges, Helen Parker, Hoi Lun Cheng, Katharine Steinbeck, Janet Franklin, Helen O'Connor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: There is evidence that physical activity (PA), sitting time, and obesity may impact cognition, but few studies have examined this in young women. Methods: Healthy women (18-35 y), without conditions that impair cognition, were recruited for this cross-sectional study. Participants completed anthropometric and validated computerized cognitive assessments (IntegNeuro). Performance on 5 cognitive domains (impulsivity, attention, information processing, memory, and executive function) was reported as z scores. Sitting hours and weekly PA calculated from time in low-, moderate-, and high-intensity activity were obtained via the International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Analysis of variance/analysis of covariance, chi-square, and linear regression were used. Results: 299 (25.9 [5.1] y) women (low PA = 19%; moderate PA = 40%; high PA = 41%) participated. High PA women had lower body mass index (high PA = 26.1 [6.5]; moderate PA = 30.0 [8.7]; low PA = 31.0 [11.1] kg/m2; P <.001) and less sitting time (high PA = 6.6 [3.1]; moderate PA = 7.7 [2.8]; low PA = 9.3 [3.6] hr/weekday; P <.0001). Cognitive function was within normal ranges and did not differ between any PA groups (P =.42). Adjusting for body mass index, C-reactive protein, or sitting hours did not alter results. Weak correlations were found between time in high-intensity activity and impulsivity (b = 0.12, r2 =.015; P =.04), and between sitting hours and information processing efficiency (b = −0.18, r2 =.03; P =.002). Valuesare presented as mean (SD). Conclusions: Cognitive function was within the normal range, regardless of PA or sitting time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1082-1087
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Volume18
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

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