Girls – Biking makes you smart!

Study: Teen girls who bike or walk to school perform better in cognitive tests than girls who drive to school.

In a study published this month in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, researchers looked at the teens’ standardized test performance and their mode of transportation to school in five Spanish cities. Girls with active transportation — either walking or biking to school — performed better than girls who either rode in a car or bus to school. Girls with longer bike rides or walks (more than 15 minutes) performed better in tests than girls with shorter rides or walks, though both groups did better than girls with inactive commutes. The study authors conclude, “Active commuting to school and its duration may positively influence cognitive performance in adolescent girls.”


Teen girl on a bicycle Santa Cruz

For boys, there wasn’t any measurable difference between those with active vs inactive commutes to school. An earlier Swedish study that found the same thing suggests that boys are possibly more active, and 15 minutes biking to school doesn’t make as much a difference in their overall activity level.

Via Discovery Magazine Disco Blog.

7 Comments

  • Alan@TreeFort
    December 21, 2010 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Is this correlation or causation? :-)

  • December 21, 2010 - 10:08 pm | Permalink

    That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it? That’s why the study authors use the magic weasel word “may” in the conclusion.

  • Anonymous
    December 22, 2010 - 5:08 am | Permalink

    While it may well be true that cycling makes girls smarter, it has the opposite effect on boys. In cycling’s defense, it isn’t as bad as letting boys drive to school, which results in them wearing casts and stuff like that.

  • December 22, 2010 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Hmm maybe as adults commuting by foot or bicycle would make workers more productive? Justification for subsidies from employers?

  • George Winters
    January 7, 2011 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Notice in the attached photo, the girl is riding an electric bicycle.

  • January 7, 2011 - 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I was hoping nobody would notice that :-) I’d rather have used a different photo, but I don’t have many good pictures of teen girls on bikes.

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