Physical activity and intelligence: A causal exploration

O'Callaghan, Frances, O'Callaghan, Michael, Williams, Gail, Bor, William and Najman, Jake (2012) Physical activity and intelligence: A causal exploration. Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 9 2: 218-224.

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Name Description MIMEType Size Downloads
Author O'Callaghan, Frances
O'Callaghan, Michael
Williams, Gail
Bor, William
Najman, Jake
Title Physical activity and intelligence: A causal exploration
Journal name Journal of Physical Activity and Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1543-3080
Publication date 2012-02
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 9
Issue 2
Start page 218
End page 224
Total pages 7
Place of publication Champaign, IL, United States
Publisher Human Kinetics
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Studies involving animals and older adults suggest that physical activity (PA) might lead to improved cognitive ability in general, and enhanced intelligence scores (IQ) in particular. However, there are few studies involving young persons and none controlling for the possibility that those with better cognitive skills are more likely to engage in PA. Methods: Data are from the Mater–University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy. We measured IQ at the 14-year follow-up and IQ and PA at 21 years. Mean IQ scores are presented at the 21-year follow-up adjusted for IQ at 14 years, and PA and other variables. Results: Measures of vigorous exercise, less vigorous exercise, walking, and vigorous activity apart from exercise, produced inconsistent results. Increased levels of less vigorous exercise were associated with higher IQ, but neither higher levels of vigorous exercise nor walking were associated with IQ. For vigorous activity at work or in the home, the associations are curvilinear, with more and less activity both associated with lower IQ. Conclusions: While there is an association between some indicators of PA and IQ, there was no consistent evidence that higher PA levels might lead to increased IQ scores.
Keyword Adolescents
Prospective study
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Medicine Publications
School of Social Science Publications
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Created: Fri, 14 Sep 2012, 12:45:27 EST by Geraldine Fitzgerald on behalf of School of Social Science