Physical activity is an essentialactivity during the stage of adolescence. It contributes to the development ofa normal skeletal growth and weight bearing necessary for adolescents to attainand maintain their suitable bone mass (Lasheras et al., 2001), and body weightby increaseing energy expenditure (Woods et al., 2010). Likewise Tomporowski etal.
(2008) and U.S Department of Health and Human Services, (2008), indicatedthat children and adolescents who have regular physical activity, experiencegreater improvement in their body and mental health. In addition, they havereduced probability of diseases in the future compared with inactiveindividuals.
For example, participation in regularphysical activity has also been found to decrease the rule-breaking behavioursand improving behaviour in the classroom. Furthermore, engagement in regularphysical activity and various sports can play an essential role in improvingthe social life and social skills among students (Hallal et al., 2006; Woods etal.
, 2010).Studies have also indicates thatstarting of physical activity earlier and having fitness during adolescence areimportant determinants of adult fitness at the population level. Furthermore,children and adolescents with low fitness are more likely to have unfavorableobesity.
Therefore, physical activity programmes can help them to improve andmaintain their fitness(Dwyer et al., 2009).Moreover, regular physical activity inadolescence may increase cardiovascular health further during adulthood inthree ways. First, there is a direct relationship between adolescent physicalactivity and adult cardiovascular health. Second, the effect of early physicalactivity on adult cardiovascular health may be simplifed by following ofphysical activity from adolescents to adulthood.
Third, early physical activityincrease adolescence cardiovascular health that may improve adultcardiovascular health (Twisk et al., 2002). 2.6 Physical activity and cognitive function Cognitive functions canbe defined as cerebral activities which lead to knowledge such asreasoning, memory, attention, and language. Cognitive abilities are brain-based skills thatneed to carry out any task from the simplest to the most complex which isability to learn, remember, problem-solve, and pay attention, rather than withany actual knowledge. Cognitive performances involve narrow academic skill, ortest-taking smarts. Intelligence is very unique in human and can be defined asa general mental ability for reasoning, problem solving, and learning (Colom et al.
, 2010). CognitiveIntelligence is a general mental capability that involves theability to reason, plan and solve problems. In addition, there is a strongbelief that regular participation in physical activity is linked to enhancementof brain function and cognition (Hillman etal., 2008) thereby positively influencing academic performance (Singh et al.
, 2012). Physicalactivity plays a vital role in inproving cognitive and academic performance(Ploughman, 2008). Studies have reported that cerebellum activation, besidesenhancing motor functions (Trudeau & Shephard, 2010), influencesneurobehavioral systems such as working memory (Sibley & Etnier, 2003), andmemory (Kramer et al.
, 2006). In addition, many scientific evidence haveindicated the importance of the front lobes, particularly the prefrontal areas,in the mediation of cognitive ability such as motor coordination and executivecontrol (Trudeau & Shephard, 2010).Several studies measured the volume ofregions of interest in brain showing the most significant correlations(controlling for total brain volumes) in frontal, parietal, and temporal brainregions, along with the hippocampus and the cerebellum (Toga and Thompson, 2005; Luders et al., 2009). From thisperspective, the amount of gray and white matter was correlated withintelligence scores (Haier, Jung and Yeo, 2004, 2005). The mostconsistent areas of association between g scores and cortical thickness werefound in lateral prefrontal, occipital extrastriate, and para-hippocampal areas(Colom, Haier and Head, 2009).In 1983, Gardner, who suggested sevendifferent areas of intelligence that function separately from each other insome degree, has increased this number to eight by adding spiritual intelligenceat 2006 and environmental intelligence dimension was added to become ninemultiple intelligence at 2007 (Tirri and Petri, 2008). There are nine different areas of intelligence whichconsist of verbal linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical intelligence, visual-spatialintelligence, musical-rhythmic intelligence, bodily intelligence, interpersonalintelligence, intrapersonal intelligence spiritual intelligence andenvironmental intelligence.
Physical activities involve physicalmovement which is increase in cardiac output, vasodilation that can increaseblood flow to the tissue and the brain and improve brain function. So, physicalactivity can improve intelligence due to increase blood flow to the brain (Morgan, Corrigan and Baune,2015).The previous study done by Sibley and Etnier, (2003) among school-age children,4 to 18 years students, showed a positive association between physical activityand cognitive function including perceptual skills, intelligence quotient,academic achievement, verbal tests, mathematics tests, developmental level, andacademic readiness. More recent evidence from a randomizedcontrolled trial (Davis et al.
, 2007)with highly controlled exercise intervention and a standardized achievementtest indicated that physical activity interventions may have selective effectson children’s cognition. Aerobic exercise training improved executive functionin overweight children between the ages of 7 and 11 years. Scores on thePlanning scale of the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS) were significantlyhigher for the children who performed 40 min of aerobic exercise 5 times perweek compared to a control group In addition, a previous study by Coe (2006)- elaborate study, academic achievement wasassessed from 4 core academic courses (math, science, English, world studies)and a standardized test (Terra Nova?). Physicalactivity outside of school was assessed by 3-day recall. No impact of physicalactivity on standardized test scores was observed.
However, students withhigher levels of vigorous physical activity outside of school had significantlyhigher grades than those who reported no vigorous physical activity.