Acute Physical Activity for Motor and Academic Learning in Education-based Settings


  • Eric Roig-Hierro Universitat de Barcelona
  • Giordano Márcio Gatinho Bonuzzi Universidade Estadual do Piau
  • Albert Batalla Universitat de Barcelona



Motor learning, School, Consolidation, Acute exercise


Numerous studies have shown that engaging in physical activity significantly benefits several cognitive domains. Among them, research findings indicate that even a single bout of physical activity positively impacts executive functions, motor learning, and academic performance. For that reason, many school settings have recently implemented acute exercise-based strategies to enhance their student's academic performance, such as active breaks or physically active learning. In this review, we suggest using acute physical activity interventions to improve the learning of motor-related academic skills in education-based settings. We base our recommendations on studies that demonstrate the capacity of acute exercise to facilitate skill acquisition during practice and consolidate long-term declarative and motor memory, thereby promoting motor and academic learning. It is proposed to include strategically located acute exercise strategies throughout the school hours to promote declarative and motor skills learning over the school period. In addition, we will look into the practical considerations for implementing these types of interventions in school settings. Lastly, we evaluated the limitations of the previous research and then discussed what next steps need to be taken.



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2024-02-06 — Updated on 2024-02-14