Effects of physical warm-up on the attention of adolescent students
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The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of two different types of physical warm-up on selective attention (AS) and concentration of physical education (PE) students. Warm-up was used as a tool for this optimization; different variables were applied to compare their effects on students' attention and concentration. Attention is a frequently studied variable that is associated with success in different settings including academic and sports. The participants of this study were 160 students (77 girls and 83 boys), who were between 12 and 17 years old. The students were randomly divided into two experimental groups (n = 106) and a control group (n = 54). As a study procedure, an experimental group (n = 55) performed a physical warm-up based on 10 min of repetitive exercises of moderate intensity that were directed by a direct command and had low cognitive demands. The other group (n = 51) performed a physical warm-up of equal duration and intensity; however, the warm-up was based on an open and playful task with many stimuli and a high need for fast decision-making. Then, the D2 test was used to observe students' attention and concentration. The obtained results showed no significant differences in attention and concentration according to the type of performed warm-up (p > .05). However, differences were observed in the effects of these cognitive functions with respect to other variables such as sex, age, or school year (p < .05). The lack of effectiveness in testing the proposed warm-ups suggests the need to continue experimenting with different variables (e.g., volume, intensity, teaching style, and stimuli) to determine their possible effects on students' attentional capacities.