After-school exercise program enhances cognition in 7-, 8- and 9-year-olds

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From experience to meaning...

We’ve known the effect of physical exercise on learning with programs who started the schoolday with sport – check e.g. here – this program is slightly different. A nine-month-long, randomized controlled trial involving 221 prepubescent children found that those who engaged in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes a day after school saw substantial improvements in their ability to pay attention, avoid distraction and switch between cognitive tasks.

From the press release:

Half of the study subjects were randomly assigned to the after-school program and the rest were placed on a wait list. All participants underwent cognitive testing and brain imaging before and after the intervention.

“Those in the exercise group received a structured intervention that was designed for the way kids like to move,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Charles Hillman, who led the study. “They performed short bouts of exercise interspersed with rest…

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