Active Kids vs. School Stress: The Unexpected Connection

How Active Kids Handle School Stress Better!

Hey there, dear reader! 🌟 Ever wondered if there’s a secret sauce to help kids handle school stress better? Well, guess what? The answer might be simpler than you think. Let’s dive into some recent findings that are making waves in the world of science.

The Big Question: Does Exercise Help Kids Too?

We’ve all heard it before: “Exercise to beat stress!” But does this golden advice apply to our little ones too? Researchers from the University of Basel decided to put this to the test. Led by the dynamic duo, Dr. Manuel Hanke and Dr. Sebastian Ludyga, the team delved deep into the effects of physical activity on children’s stress levels. And their findings? Absolutely groundbreaking!

 The Experiment: Sensors, Stress, and Saliva

Imagine 110 kids, aged between 10 and 13, wearing sensors to track their every move for a week. Sounds like a sci-fi movie, right? But it’s not! These kids were then put through both stressful and non-stressful tasks in a lab. The real kicker? The researchers measured the stress hormone, cortisol, in their saliva to gauge their reactions.

 The Revelation: Active Kids = Less StressActive Kids vs. School Stress The Unexpected Connection

Drumroll, please… 🥁 The kids who were active for more than an hour daily (just as the World Health Organization recommends) produced *less* cortisol during the stress tasks compared to their less active counterparts. In simple words, active kids seemed to handle stress better. Mind-blowing, right?

 But Why? The Science Behind the Magic

One theory suggests that when kids engage in regular activities like running or swimming, their brains link the rise in cortisol (which happens during exercise) to positive vibes. So, when they face exam stress, their brains don’t let cortisol levels skyrocket. It’s like their brains have built-in stress shields!

 What’s Next? The Bigger Picture

Beyond just measuring cortisol, the researchers also recorded the kids’ brainwaves. Why? To see if physical activity influences how stress affects their thinking. Ever had a mental blackout during a test? They’re trying to see if exercise can be the secret weapon against that!


Active kids seem to have a secret weapon against school stress. So, the next time your child feels overwhelmed with schoolwork, maybe a quick game of catch or a bike ride could be the perfect remedy!


– Hanke, M., Looser, V. N., Bruggisser, F., Leuenberger, R., Gerber, M., & Ludyga, S. (2023). Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and reactivity to acute psychosocial stress in preadolescent children. *Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport*. [Link](

– University of Basel. (2023, September 5). Active children are more resilient. *ScienceDaily*. Retrieved September 10, 2023, from [ScienceDaily](

Photo by Yan Krukau
Photo by Mikhail Nilov