Close Close
Mother and Baby

One Hour Of Exercise A Day Boosts Children’s Concentration

Does your child have difficulty concentrating? A little exercise could help…

Children should spend at least one hour a day being active to boost their concentration, new research has revealed.
The research by the University of Illinois examined 221 children, aged seven to nine years. Half were signed up to an after-school exercise group for nine months.
Tests found those placed on the active programme improved their accuracy on some mental capability tests by twice as much as those who were not assigned to do daily exercise.

Those in the exercise group wore heart-rate monitors and performed short bouts of exercise interspersed with rest over a two-hour period.


The children were active about 70 minutes per day and, as expected, fitness increased most in the intervention group over the course of the study.

Children in the exercise group also demonstrated substantial increases in ‘attentional inhibition’ – a measure of their ability to block out distractions and focus on the task at hand – and ‘cognitive flexibility’, which involves switching between intellectual tasks while maintaining speed and accuracy.


The children in the exercise group improved twice as much as their peers in terms of their accuracy on cognitive tasks.

The study also found that children with greater attendance at the programme had greater changes in brain function and cognitive performance.


Lead researcher Dr Charles Hillman added that efforts to improve child health should focus on group activities, as a good way to improve fitness and mental skills.

‘The fact is that kids are social beings; they perform physical activity in a social environment,’ he said.

Does your little one get enough exercise? Let us know in the comments box below.

Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack
Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Click here for your chance to win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Pampers Baby-Dry
Win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies

Enter now for your chance to win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies PLUS £100 John Lewis voucher.

Lemonade Money
Protect your loved ones this Valentine's Day with Lemonade Money

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to let your partner know just how much they mean to you. If you don't have the time to sort out your life cover, financial planning firm Lemonade Money is here to help.

Win an NCT antenatal course
Win an NCT antenatal course

Click here for your chance to win an antenatal course with NCT and make sure you're baby ready.

How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range
How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby. Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash…

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Subscribe to Mother&Baby!
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.