Exercise before school improves concentration, study says

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.

Related Stories

Cyber partners help you go the distance

date 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

date Aug 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

Increased morbidity, mortality in food system industries

date 25 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Occupational morbidity and mortality are elevated across food system industries compared with nonfood system industries, according to a study published online May 12 in the Journal of Occupational an ...

Three issues to consider before selecting EHR

date 1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—Work flow, features and functionality, and technical infrastructure should all be considered in advance of selecting an electronic heath record (EHR) system, according to an article published ...

Research letter: Indoor tanning rates drop among US adults

date 2 hours ago

Indoor tanning rates dropped among adults from 5.5 percent in 2010 to 4.2 percent in 2013, although an estimated 7.8 million women and 1.9 million men still engage in the practice, which has been linked to increased cancer ...

Stunting remains a challenge in South Africa

date 3 hours ago

Stunting remains stubbornly persistent in South Africa, despite economic growth, political and social transitions, and national nutritional programmes, says a Wits-led research team.

User comments

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.