London, Dec 20: Are your students unable to concentrate and retain their lessons at school? Take heart. Just 15 minutes of break with a run or walk activity at their own pace, may help improve their memory and attention span, finds a study.
The findings showed that the children who participated in the run or walk activity reported feeling more awake after taking the break, responded quicker to the attention task, were better at controlling their responses and were also more able to remember words in sentences.
“Ultimately, we found that 15 minutes of self-paced exercise can significantly improve a child’s mood, attention and memory, enhancing their ability to learn,” Naomi Brooks, from the University of Stirling, said in a statement.
“This suggests that children should be encouraged to exercise at their own pace during short breaks from class. This may help children be more ready to learn when they return to the classroom,” added Josie Booth from the University of Edinburgh.
For the study, the team included a total of 11,613 children in the UK — including 1,536 from Scotland — to discover the impact of taking a short break from the classroom to complete a physical activity on their mood and cognitive abilities.
The children underwent, an intense running activity, a run or walk activity of intermediate intensity, a control activity, which was least intense.
“Overall, our study concluded that exercising leads to improvements in children’s mood and cognition,” said Colin Moran from the Stirling University.
“In most tasks, participating in a run/walk activity was more beneficial that doing the run test, where children should be closer to exhaustion,” Moran said.
However, they should not be discouraged from doing more vigorous exercise, the researchers noted.