Dartmouth study says short bouts of exercise improve academic performance in low-income children
The study suggests schools that serve low-income populations should work brief exercise sessions into the school day to improve academic performance, said Michele Tine on Friday.
The study compared low-income adolescents with their high-income peers. While both groups saw improvement in selective visual attention up to 45 minutes after exercising, the low-income group experienced a bigger jump. Selective visual attention is the ability to remain visually focused on something despite distractions.
Why low-income students got more out of the short bouts of physical activity is the million dollar question, Tine said, and will be the focus of future studies.
“People that live in poverty live with chronic stress,” she said, exercise releases stress. “Alternatively, it is possible that low-income individuals improved more simply because they had more room to improve.”
“The implication is that really quick sessions of aerobic exercise have cognitive and academic benefits,” Tine said.
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