Healthy Living

Walking, Biking to School Improves Concentration

children on bike
Image REUTERS/Jason Reed

A new study from Denmark has found that exercising before school helps children concentrate better in class.

Researchers say that cycling or walking to school can be a great way to increase concentration during the school-hours. The study from universities in Copenhagen and Aarhus found that children who were driven to school or used public transport scored less in tests that measured concentration than children who walked or cycled to school.

The study involved 19,527 students between ages 5 and 19. Participants were asked about their diets and exercising habits. "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, AFP reported.

The results of the study surprised the researchers as it was meant to find the relationship between breakfast and concentration at school.

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

Egelund added that the ability of a child in third grade who bikes to school is as good as "someone half a year further in their studies."

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

A recent study from Australia has found that active kids are more likely to be lean and healthy when compared to kids who aren't active. Researchers in this study had said that it is probably better to encourage kids to exercise more than to restrict their diets.

Previous research has found that kids that engage themselves in a physical activity, like a sport, are more likely to be happy than kids who spend more time sitting.

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