Associations of Device-Measured Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Executive Function in Preadolescents: A Latent Profile Approach

Yuxin Zhu, Fenghua Sun (Corresponding Author), Gary C.C. Chow, Sisi Tao, S.B. Cooper, Borui Zhang, Wai Lung Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Purpose: This study investigated the associations between physical activity (PA), sedentary behavior, and executive function in preadolescents. Methods: One hundred and twenty preadolescents were recruited from 2 Hong Kong primary schools. PA and
sedentary behavior were recorded for 7 consecutive days by accelerometer. Executive function performance, including inhibition
(Stroop task and Flanker task) and working memory (Sternberg paradigm task), were measured. Body mass index and
cardiorespiratory fitness (multistage fitness test) were tested. Latent profile analysis explored the profiles of PA and sedentary
behavior in preadolescents. Results: Three distinct profiles were identified: low activity, average activity, and high activity.
Participants in low activity performed worse in the accuracy of Stroop task (vs average activity, P = .03; vs high activity, P < .01),
Flanker task (vs average activity, P = .02; vs high activity, P < .001), and Sternberg paradigmtask (vs average activity, P < .01; vs
high activity, P < .01). No significant difference was observed between participants with average and high activities. No
significant association was observed for profiles on body mass index and cardiorespiratory fitness. Conclusion: Supplementing
the consensus of the literature that moderate to vigorous PA benefits cognition, the authors conclude that light PA may also
enhance preadolescents’ executive functioning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jul 2022

Cite this