The lost art of concentration: being distracted in a digital world Part VI

Physical exercise

For any extended period of exercise – whether it be yoga, playing a team sport or dancing – the engagement of the brain with the body is also an exercise in concentration. Regular exercise also activates the body and this is beneficial for the brain.

A Dutch study of schoolchildren published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport in 2016 showed that interspersing lessons with a 20-minute stretch of aerobic exercise measurably improved attention spans in the children that participated. Another 2014 study from the American Academy of Paediatrics, on the benefits of exercise in 7 to 9-year-olds, not only found that the children’s physical health improved as they got fitter, but also their brain function, cognitive performance and executive control.

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