2011 - Research

Active Commuting to School and Cognitive Performance in Adolescents

The aim of this cross-sectional study is to examine the associations between active commuting to school and cognitive performance in adolescents in five cities (Granada, Madrid, Murcia, Santander, and Zaragoza) in Spain.

  • In this study, a total of 1700 adolescents (892 girls) aged 13 to 18.5 years were participated by self-reporting their mode and duration of transportation to school and their participation in extracurricular physical activity.
  • Cognitive performance (verbal, numeric, and reasoning abilities and an overall score) was measured by the Spanish version of the SRA Test of Educational Ability.
  • 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.
  • Active commuting to school and its duration may positively influence cognitive performance in adolescent girls.

Martinez-Gomez, D., J. R. Ruiz, et al. (2011). "Active Commuting to School and Cognitive Performance in Adolescents: The AVENA Study." Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 165(4): 300-305.