Monday, January 31, 2011

Walking to school helps...if you're a girl

As most of you know one of the things that I have decided to do is walk to school. The good thing about this is that it helps me wake up before I get to school, it gives me time to think about and mentally prepare for my and now according to studies it may even make me do better on tests. Sounds silly right, well it just might not be as silly as you may think it to be.

I scanned the news and saw an article entitled, Girls who walk, bike to school do better in tests: Spanish study shows that the longer the commute the higher the scores. This article was found on msnbc. com. So basically the study talks about how girls do better on exams when they have more than a 15 minute commute to school. They however found no significance in boys. The reason for this is unsure, but there are a couple of theories. One would be that boys may get more exercise overall throughout the day so this morning walk would not really make a difference. The second theory is that it may just be a difference in boys and girls brains. The theory has to do with neurological stimulants being different in the female brain and the male brain. The problem with this is that these two things are just theories so the answer to what the difference is between boys and girls in this aspect has yet to be found.

Wondering if it were just a difference between boys and girls in Spain a very similar study was done in Sweden, where they found the very same results. There was a difference in up to four points in girls who walked or biked to school, but still no difference for boys. The other thing that was found was that the longer the commute to school the better the female child did on the test.

So this is just something else that Europeans have going for them. If this be so overseas it should be so in the United States...right? Well yes and no. The fact is that not all commutes are equal. In Europe the child will have a much more stimulating walk by walking through town and passing shops and cafes. A typical suburb here in the States is not going to do much to stimulate us. We will end up walking by cookie cutter type houses. Also safety plays a factor. As we all know not all neighborhoods are good ones to be walked through and if their is high traffic then that would also not be beneficial. One of the plus sides to this study is that the female student has time to think about her day and if she is worried for her life she obviously is going to be thinking about more important things than her exam.

I was intrigued after I read this article for many reasons. But the biggest thing that it told me was that it was yet again another great reason for me to walk to school. I have about a 20 to 30 minute walk from my apartment to my college, I walk past a museum with cafe tables and chairs, dorms and a lot of really pretty landscaping because one thing that OU doesn't skimp on is that. I have all the right ingredients to be a good candidate for doing better on my tests or whatever at school. I'm a female and I have a good long commute. Graduate school is not the easiest thing I've ever done by any means so if it talks a little walk to put some pep in my step and an increase in my grades them of course I'm down. If you are able to walk to school I suggest you give it a try too.

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