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1.  Extremely Reduced Motion in Front of Screens: Investigating Real-World Physical Activity of Adolescents by Accelerometry and Electronic Diary 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0126722.
This paper reports accelerometer and electronic dairy data on typical daily activities of 139 school students from grade six and nine. Recordings covered a typical school day for each student and lasted on average for 23 h. Screen activities (watching television and using the computer) are compared to several other activities performed while sitting (e.g., playing, eating, sitting in school, and doing homework). Body movement was continuously recorded by four accelerometers and transformed into a motion sore. Our results show that extremely low motion scores, as if subjects were freezing, emerge to a greater extent in front of screens compared to other investigated activities. Given the substantial amount of time young people spend in front of screens and the rising obesity epidemic, our data suggest a mechanism for the association of screen time and obesity.
PMCID: PMC4425561  PMID: 25955531
2.  Associations between music education, intelligence, and spelling ability in elementary school 
Musical education has a beneficial effect on higher cognitive functions, but questions arise whether associations between music lessons and cognitive abilities are specific to a domain or general. We tested 194 boys in Grade 3 by measuring reading and spelling performance, non verbal intelligence and asked parents about musical activities since preschool. Questionnaire data showed that 53% of the boys had learned to play a musical instrument. Intelligence was higher for boys playing an instrument (p < .001). To control for unspecific effects we excluded families without instruments. The effect on intelligence remained (p < .05). Furthermore, boys playing an instrument showed better performance in spelling compared to the boys who were not playing, despite family members with instruments (p < .01). This effect was observed independently of IQ. Our findings suggest an association between music education and general cognitive ability as well as a specific language link.
PMCID: PMC3101523  PMID: 21614212
music education; intelligence; literacy; spelling; cognitive development

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