London: It is common sense that children who walk or cycle to school have a lower risk of obesity than those shuttled to and fro by car, but driving your youngsters to the gates could also cause their academic work to suffer, a study has revealed.

Researchers found that children who were driven to school, or who took public transport, had poorer concentration levels than those who took a more active route such as walking or cycling, a daily reported.

The joint study by researchers at two Danish universities found that the regular exercise could advance a student up to half a year in their studies.

Children who were driven to school, or who took public transport, performed less well in a test measuring concentration levels, than those who had walked or cycled.

The results surprised the researchers, as their hypothesis originally focused on the effects of eating breakfast and lunch on pupils' ability to concentrate.

"The exercise one uses to transport oneself to school is reflected in the level of concentration one has circa four hours later," Niels Egelund, a co-author of the report, said.

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

"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 exercise habits 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.


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