Published 09/14/12

Aerobic exercise appears to boost kids' attention span

Exercise improves selective attention in children, especially lower-income children. That’s according to a recently published study by Allison Butler, Ph.D., assistant professor of applied psychology, and colleague Michele Tine from Dartmouth College Department of Education. They tested sixth- and seventh-graders from a public school in New England on how well they did on a pencil-and-paper task both before and after 12-minutes of running on an indoor track.  There was no such improvement for the control group of students who watched an educational film clip on exercise. The researchers say intense bursts of exercise may be a low-cost way for schools to improve selective attention. The research was published Sept. 5, 2012 in Educational Psychology: An International Journal of Experimental Educational Psychology.