Exercise before school improves concentration, study says

November 23, 2012

Cycling or walking to school increases a child's ability to concentrate in the classroom, the results of a Danish study published Friday showed.

Children who were driven to school, or who took public transport, performed less well in a test measuring , than those who had walked or cycled, a joint study by researchers at the universities in Copenhagen and Aarhus found.

"The exercise one uses to transport oneself to school is reflected in the level of concentration one has circa four hours later," said Niels Egelund, a co-author of the report.

The results surprised the researchers, as their originally focused on the effects of eating breakfast and lunch on ' ability to concentrate.

"The results showed that having breakfast and lunch has an impact, but not very much compared to having exercised," Egelund told AFP.

"As a third-grade pupil, if you exercise and bike to school, your ability to concentrate increases to the equivalent of someone half a year further in their studies," he added.

In the survey, taken by 19,527 pupils aged five to 19 years, participants were asked about their and were then given a basic test measuring their concentration.

"Most people know the feeling of being refreshed after having exercised, but it is surprising that the effect lasts for so long," Egelund said.

Explore further: Exercise more beneficial on an empty stomach, research shows

Related Stories

Cyber partners help you go the distance

May 16, 2012

A new study, testing the benefits of a virtual exercise partner, shows that the presence of a moderately more capable cycling partner boosts motivation to stick to an exercise program. The work by Brandon Irwin and colleagues, ...

Regulation of attention and concentration in brain unravelled

August 11, 2011

(Medical Xpress) -- The prefrontal cortex of the brain is involved in memory processes and the ability to concentrate attentively. Neuroscientists from VU University Amsterdam have shown how and where this occurs in the prefrontal ...

Recommended for you

Want to exercise more? Get yourself some competition

October 27, 2016

Imagine you're a CEO trying to get your employees to exercise. Most health incentive programs have an array of tools—pamphlets, websites, pedometers, coaching, team activities, step challenges, money—but what actually ...

Sleep loss tied to changes of the gut microbiota in humans

October 25, 2016

Results from a new clinical study conducted at Uppsala University suggest that curtailing sleep alters the abundance of bacterial gut species that have previously been linked to compromised human metabolic health. The new ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.