Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 05, 149 - 153

Research article
The Relationship Between Working Memory Capacity and Physical Activity Rates in Young Adults
Kate Lambourne 
Author Information
Psychology Department, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA

Kate Lambourne
✉ Psychology Department, Utah State University, Logan, Utah, USA
Publish Date
Received: 19-12-2005
Accepted: 15-02-2006
Published (online): 01-03-2006
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This study examined the relationship between physical activity and cognitive function in younger adults. It was hypothesized that there would be a relationship between the exercise rates of adults (aged 19-30) and working memory capacity. Participants were 42 male and female college students who were divided into groups based on self-reported physical activity level. The participants in one group (n = 23) met the physical activity requirements specified by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and participants in the other group (n = 19) did not, and therefore acted as the control. A reading span task was used to assess the participant’s working memory capacity. Analysis of variance results demonstrated that exercise was associated with enhanced memory (F = 9.06, p = 0.005, η = 0.21). Differences in working memory capacity as a function of gender and department were not statistically significant, nor were any interactions between these variables. This finding lends support to the hypothesis that exercise is related to working memory capacity in younger adults.

Key words: Physical activity, cognitive function, recall

           Key Points
  • The purpose of this study was to examine differences in working memory capacity as a function of exercise rate in younger adults.
  • The results showed that there was a difference in working memory capacity between individuals who met the CDC’s requirements for physical activity frequency and duration and individuals who did not.
  • Similar to older adults, differences in cognitive function as a function of exercise were present in younger individuals.
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