Is your child stressed about school? Scientists have found a way around this

Is your child stressed about school?  Scientists have found a way around this

The new school year and learning are often stressful for students. Scientists from Basel have proven that there is one simple way to deal with stress at school.

The solution to stress at school may seem trivial, because it is simply the right dose of physical activity. Scientists from the University of Basel have hard evidence that this method actually works. The research results were published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport.

Physical activity will help relieve stress at school

The study involved 110 children aged 10 to 13 who wore a sensor that tracked their daily activity for a week. The researchers then invited the children to the lab twice, where they had to complete two tasks: one stressful and one non-stressful (control). The stress response was measured by testing the concentration of cortisol (called the stress hormone) in saliva.

The results showed that participants who exercised more than an hour a day as recommended by the World Health Organization actually produced less cortisol during stressful tasks than children who were less active. “Regularly active children appear to have a reduced physiological stress response overall,” said Manuel Hanke, the lead author of the study.

Exercise causes an increase in the stress hormone

How exactly does physical activity affect stress levels in other situations? One possible explanation for the Basel scientists’ discovery could be that cortisol levels also increase during exercise. “When children regularly run, swim, climb, etc., the brain learns to associate increases in cortisol levels with something positive. The body’s reaction always has a cognitive component: this positive association helps prevent cortisol levels from rising too high also in exam situations,’ explained Sebastian Ludyga, another of the researchers.

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