Short ‘n’ healthful article: exercise before a test
Now that I know everything, I don’t need to go to school (sarcasm). But in another life, when I did go to school, I noticed I would always feel a bit sharper after I exercised. Perhaps it was just getting outside after 10 hours of solitary confinement, or maybe it was the exercise itself? Regardless, I needn’t now worry about the mechanism, with a new study analysing whether an acute bout of exercise will sharpen up the old noggin. So, ladies and gentlemen, does it?
In this most fabulous of studies a group of year 9-12 children, at separate times and in a random order, completed a school class and then took no break from class, or a 5, 10, or 20 minute exercise break before completing a maths test. The study found that those that took a 10 or 20 minute exercise break before the test performed moderately better than those that took no break at all. So, all in all, if you do an acute bout of exercise before taking a test, it’s probably going to enhance your test taking ability. Tell your teacher this!
Is it healthful:
Yes, acute exercise appears to moderately enhance subsequent academic performance. For this reason it is moderately healthful in this scenario.
While the study was conducted on a fairly large population, it is a single study of a small age group, so we can’t say for definite that exercise enhances academic performance in all people. However, the theory very much makes sense and if I wasn’t so lazy, I’d reference a few other studies mirroring this one.
I hope this has been healthful. Do you also get smarter when you exercise?