Thursday, August 11, 2011

Exercise Increases Students' Ability to Focus in Class

Keeping students focused and engaged in the classroom can be more work than covering the actual lesson material at times. According to an article in the New York Times, one aid in attention retention is exercise. A new study of 138 schoolchildren ages 8 to 11 living in Rome demonstrated that students’ performed better academically after physical activity, specifically endurance exercise (results based on students’ performance on a written test widely accepted as a good indicator of a person’s attention and ability to concentrate).

The study also revealed that when students were asked to learn new drills with a ball in their gym class versus the endurance exercise class, the test scores increased, but not as much as with endurance-focused exercise. The second session, which was “geared toward the development of both motor control and perceptual-motor adaptation abilities,” required more thought than the endurance class, the researchers wrote. The same researchers speculated that asking the students to both think and move was too much, inducing “an excessive stress load” on their brains.

To read the full article click here.

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