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“Car Children” Learn Less in School

“Car Children” Learn Less in School
If you drive your child to school, you decrease your child’s ability to learn the rest of the school day. On the flip side, when children walk or bike to school, instead of being driven in a car, they concentrate much better and the effects last for a while. This is one of the main conclusions of a study (http://www.foodoflife.dk/opus.aspx: in Danish) of 19,527 school children ages 5 to 19 just published by Niels Egelund, a professor at Aarhus University in Denmark. The results were made public recently by the research center OPUS, at the University of Copenhagen. The study investigated the connections between diet, exercise and the ability to concentrate for school students of all ages. Among its many results, one really stood out: Children have less concentration if they do not exercise on the way to school. The children were asked to answer questions about their exercise behavior and complete a simple concentration test (one such exercise involved putting together a puzzle composed of face pieces) and they were scored for correctness. Children who made the trip to school by themselves performed far better than those who were transported to school by car or public transportation (bus or train). “It is quite interesting that the exercise it takes to transport oneself to school directly reflects on the ability to concentrate, even four hours later in the day,” Egelund said. “Most people know how refreshed one feels after using one’s body, but it …
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