Acute Pilates and plyometric exercise in school-based settings improve attention and mathematics performance in high school students

ATAKAN M. M., Atakan B.

Sports Medicine and Health Science, 2024 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.smhs.2023.12.008
  • Journal Name: Sports Medicine and Health Science
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Adolescents, Attention, Mathematics, Pilates-based exercises, Plyometric exercises
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study was to examine the effects of acute Pilates and plyometric exercise in a school-based setting on attention and mathematics test performance in high school students. Forty 10th-grade students (21 females and 19 males; age: [15.0 ​± ​0.5] years [y], body mass index: [21.4 ​± ​2.8] kg/m2) participated in this crossover and quasi-experimental study. In week 1, students were familiarized with the d2 test of attention and Pilates and plyometric exercises activities, and body composition measurements were taken. In both weeks 2 and 3, students completed the d2 test of attention and mathematics test with 20 questions following a single session of low-to-moderate-intensity exercise and a classroom-based non-exercise activity, in a non-randomized order. The exercise sessions included 30 ​min of plyometric exercises for male students and Pilates exercise for female students, with intensities corresponding to 10–14 on the Borg rating of perceived exertion scale6-20. Compared to the non-exercise activity, a 30-min of Pilates and plyometric exercise resulted in significant improvements in attention score (mean difference [Δ] ​= ​54.5 score; p ​< 0.001; Cohen's effect sizes [d] ​= ​1.26) and concentration performance (Δ ​= ​20.7 score; p ​= ​0.003; d ​= ​0.51). The students scored significantly higher on the mathematics test after participating in the exercise sessions compared to the non-exercise condition (Δ% ​= ​11.7; p ​< ​0.001; d ​= ​0.76). There were no significant differences between genders (p ​> ​0.05). These findings demonstrate the effectiveness of acute light-to-moderate-intensity Pilates and plyometric exercises in school-based settings for improving attention and mathematics performance in adolescents.