Objectives: This study evaluated the role of both physical activity and sedentary behavior in daily perceptions of cognitive abilities and whether these relations exist within-person, between-person, or both. Design: Non-experimental, intensive longitudinal research using ecological momentary assessments. Method: College students wore accelerometers and provided end-of-day reports on physical activity, sedentary behavior, and perceived cognitive abilities for 14 days. Results: Across self-reports and objective measures of behavior, daily deviations in physical activity were positively associated with perceived cognitive abilities. Daily deviations in self-reported, but not objectively-assessed, sedentary behavior also were negatively associated with perceived cognitive abilities. Contrary to previous research, overall levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviors were not associated with perceived cognitive abilities. Conclusions: These findings indicate that physical activity has a within- rather than between-person association with perceived cognitive abilities although between-person associations effects may require longer monitoring periods to manifest. Further research is needed to establish the direction of causality and resolve whether the nature (rather than quantity) of sedentary activities influences cognition.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology