Cycling or Walking to School Improves Concentration Levels

A new study states that a little bit of exercise before school can be beneficial to students. Cycling or walking to school can help students pay more attention to his/her studies.

Researchers at the Universities of Copenhagen and Aarhus found children who were driven to school or used a public transport had less ability to concentrate in the classroom compared to those who walked or cycled, AFP reported.

Niels Egelund, co-author of the study and colleagues interviewed nearly 20,000 students aged between five and 19 years. The researchers were actually researching the link between benefits of taking breakfast and lunch and the children's ability to concentrate.

Through the interviews, researchers collected information about the exercise habits of the students. Concentration level of these participants was measured through tests.

"The exercise one uses to transport oneself to school is reflected in the level of concentration one has circa four hours later," Egelund told AFP.

At the end of the study, researchers found children who reported cycling or walking to school scoring more in these tests.

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

Previous studies have shown both educational and health benefits associated with exercise.  A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics found exercise helps children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) to excel in studies. According to Matthew Pontifex from Michigan State University," Exercise might be a tool in our nonpharmaceutical treatment of ADHD."

An another study, researchers from Georgia Health Sciences University found that following a short exercise routine of 20 minutes or 40 minutes daily, cut down the children's risks of developing diabetics and helped them to reduce weight.

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