A recent study, just like a school report, says that doing exercise every day can help kids handle stress better. This makes them stronger when dealing with tough situations.
The study discovered that kids who exercise for more than an hour each day (as recommended by the World Health Organization) get less stressed than kids who don’t move around much.
The lead scientist, Manuel Hanke from the University of Basel in Switzerland, said, “Kids who regularly run, swim, climb, and do other active stuff learn that stress isn’t so bad. Their brains connect stress with something good. This helps prevent too much stress during exams or other tough times.”
They did the study with 110 kids aged 10 to 13. The kids wore a special tracker to see how much they moved each day. Then, the researchers had the kids do a stressful task in a lab and a non-stressful task on a different day.
They checked the kids’ stress levels by looking at a special hormone called cortisol in their spit (saliva). They also checked how their brains reacted to stress using a machine called an electroencephalogram (EEG), which records brainwaves.
Manuel Hanke explained, “Stress can mess up your thinking. Sometimes, it’s like a total blank in your head.” Now, the scientists want to see if exercise can also help kids think better when they’re stressed.