Exercise before school improves concentration

Updated 05 December 2012

Exercise before school improves concentration

COPENHAGEN: Cycling or walking to school increases a child’s ability to concentrate in the classroom, the results of a Danish study published Friday showed.
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, a joint study by researchers at the universities in Copenhagen and Aarhus found.
“The exercise one uses to transport oneself to school is reflected in the level of concentration one has circa four hours later,” said Niels Egelund, a co-author of the report.
The results surprised the researchers, as their hypothesis originally focused on the effects of eating breakfast and lunch on pupils’ ability to concentrate.
“The results showed that having breakfast and lunch has an impact, but not very much compared to having exercised,” Egelund told AFP.
“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.

 


Baby Talk: Conditions to be aware of in newborns

If your child’s abdomen feels swollen and hard, you should seek medical advice. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 January 2020

Baby Talk: Conditions to be aware of in newborns

  • Here are three physical conditions that are especially common in the weeks following birth. If you notice any of the following in your baby, contact your doctor or health center straight away

Abdominal Distension

Most babies’ tummies are normally rounded, especially after a large feed. Between feeds, however, they should feel quite soft and not stick out. If your child’s abdomen feels swollen and hard, or if they have not had a bowel movement for more than one or two days, you should seek medical advice. Most likely the problem is due to wind or constipation, but don’t take chances and seek the advice.

Birth Injuries

Labor is can be a strenuous time for both mum and baby, and it is possible for babies to be injured during birth, especially when babies are very large. While newborns recover quickly from some of these injuries, others may last for some time. Quite often the injury is a collar bone, which will heal quickly if the arm on that side is kept relatively still.  Don’t worry if a small lump forms over the site of the fracture. This is just part of the body’s healing process and is a sign that things are normal.

Labor is can be a strenuous time for both mum and baby, and it is possible for babies to be injured during birth, especially when babies are very large. (Shutterstock)

 Muscle weakness in a newborn baby is a common birth injury, caused during labor. However, muscles, usually weakened on one side of the face or one shoulder or arm, generally return to normal after a few weeks.  During this time it might be wise to ask advice on how to hold your baby to promote healing or at least prevent aggravation.

Blue Baby Syndrome

Babies sometimes have mildly blue hands and feet, but this may not be a cause for concern. Their hands and feet might turn slightly blue due to the cold, but they should return to normal as soon as they are warm. Occasionally, the face, tongue, and lips may turn a little blue when the newborn is crying hard, but once he becomes calm, his color in these parts of the body should quickly return to normal. However, persistently blue skin coloring, especially with breathing difficulties and feeding difficulties, is a sign that the heart or lungs are not operating properly, and the baby is not getting enough oxygen in the blood. Immediate medical attention is essential.