Studies show that having your child walk or bike to school helps them achieve their school goals. Now that the schools will only have online instruction for the fall, it’s important that parents fill this gap of exercise that their children will not be getting on the way to school.

According to the results of a Danish study released in 2012, exercising on the way to school makes students concentrate better. The survey looked at nearly 20,000 Danish kids between the ages of 5 and 19. It found that kids who cycled or walked to school, rather than traveling by car or public transportation, performed measurably better on tasks demanding concentration, such as solving puzzles, and that the effects lasted for up to four hours after they got to school. The study was part of “Mass Experiment 2012,” a Danish project that looked at the links between concentration, diet, and exercise.

“As a third-grade pupil, if you exercise and bike to school, your ability to concentrate increases to the equivalent of someone half a year further in their studies,”

Niels Egelund of Aarhus University in Denmark

What can parents do to try to keep their children active before school when they no longer need to get there by bike or by walking? Here are some great ideas!

➤  Have your child take a brief walk before starting their online schooling each day. If you go with them, you will be more alert too.

➤  Family exercise means that your child won’t see it as something more to do, but as a fun family activity. Take a bike ride together to a local park, drop off a letter or gift for a friend on their porch, or do your own “scavenger” hunt–look for a particular color car, a kind of tree, anything you can think of! 

➤  Walking a family pet daily can be an easy way to make every member of the family stay more active.

➤  Encourage taking a quick bike ride during the day, to a local park, shop or library. It’s a good way to take a break and get away from the computer for a bit.

➤  Mix up your child’s exercise if you think they need more variety: try hopscotch, jump rope,  tossing a ball back and forth, or just playing a silly game of Simon Says! Even drawing with chalk or watching the clouds can involve some stretching.

The information in this article is solely the opinion of the author and Walk-Bike Cupertino and does not reflect the opinions of any other organization or entity. For more information, contact WBC at