26th Jan 2024

Introduction: Physical inactivity is prevalent in childhood. Given that children spend a significant amount of time at school, this environment provides an ideal context to promote physical activity. In this sense, an emerging and current trend is active breaks (ABs) at school. The present study aimed to evaluate the effect of the ABs program “Activa-Mente”, on physical activity level (PAL), aerobic capacity (AC) and working memory (WM) in schoolchildren. Method: Experimental study, 53 participants (11-12 years old) were randomly divided into experimental group (EG, n=25) and control group (CG, n=28). For 6 weeks, the EG performed 6 daily ABs during the school day while CG did not performed ABs. The PAL was measured with accelerometers (Actigraph WGT3X-BT), AC with 6 Minute Test, and WM with Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-V. Statistical analysis was carried out with ANOVA for PAL and ANOVA repeated-measure 2 × 2 (pre and post-test) by AC and WM. The effect size (ES) was calculated using Cohen’s d test. Jamovi 2.3 Software. Results: PAL showed significant differences in sedentary time (minutes) (EG= 230.117.2; CG= 253.611.3; p= .001; d= -1.58), low (EG= 36.611.6; CG= 26.37.7; p= .002; d= 1.04), moderate (GE= 8.72.9; CG= 6.22, 1; p= .002; d=1.05), vigorous (EG= 14.84.8; CG= 4.82.3; p= .001; d=2.64). Regarding AC, a significant time x group interaction is observed with a large effect size (F = 34.27, p= .001, d=1.24). The results regarding WM do not indicate a significant interaction of time x group (F = 1.056, p = 0.309). Conclusion: The “Activa-Mente” program demonstrated a significant enhancement in both PAL and AC among the EG, in contrast to the CG. Nevertheless, it did not yield significant effects on WM. These findings suggest that the program could as a viable alternative for implementation in a school setting, regarding PAL and AC.

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