Home > Women In Science > Girls Who Bike to School Get Better Grades

Girls Who Bike to School Get Better Grades

December 21, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Via Wikimedia Commons

The Holidays are upon us, which means everyone at work is on vacation and I have a lot more stuff to do and shopping to do after work. Unfortunately, my dear blog has suffered.

But I am back, and I got a good one for you.

A recent study published in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine looked at 1700 high school students and how they get to school. Some walk, some take the bus, some bike, etc.

When they looked at the female grades they found that girls who actively commute to school, i.e. bike or walk, did about 4% better than girls who took the bus or drove.

Active commuting to school was associated with better cognitive performance (all P < .05) in girls but not in boys, independent of potential confounders including participation in extracurricular physical activity. In addition, adolescent girls who spent more than 15 minutes actively commuting to school had better scores in 3 of the 4 cognitive performance variables (all P < .05) than those who spent less time actively commuting to school (≤15 minutes) as well as better scores in all of the cognitive performance variables (all P < .001) than girls inactively commuting.

Interestingly, they did not see this difference in the male participants of the study. Why this happens, is a bit of a mystery.

It could be that the girls are more alert when they get to school if they walk/bike, resulting in better performance. But if that were the case, you would expect to see this difference in boys who actively commute to school as well.

It could be that girls to actively commute feel better about themselves, and therefore do better in class. This would fit in with a previous study I wrote about in which girls who write about their values before class tend to get better grades.

More and more these kinds of studies are showing that innate intelligence is not as big a factor for success in school as was thought a few decades ago.

A positive state of mind is important as well, especially for girls.

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  1. December 21, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Another possible reason for gender split: Others have commented elsewhere that males might be more active already, and a 15 minute bike ride doesn’t add much to their already active life. I don’t know enough about Spanish teen culture to determine if that’s a reasonable hypothesis or not.

  2. December 21, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Or maybe the boys weren’t breastfed as per yesterdays study
    which showed the enourmous benefits breastfeeding has on boys
    future academic success in particular:
    http://passionateteaching.wordpress.com/2010/12/21/breast-feeding-benefits-academic-achievement/

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