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Horse riding can help children develop better cognitive abilities: Study

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The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Mon, March 6, 2017  /  05:25 pm
Horse riding can help children develop better cognitive abilities: Study

Researchers had children perform and complete simple tests directly before and after horse riding while measuring their heart rate in response to movements created by the horses. (Shutterstock/File)

If your child is begging to saddle up and get some horse riding lessons, you may want to give in as researchers suggest that horse riding may lead to better cognitive abilities, including enhanced learning and problem-solving.

The study published in Frontiers in Public Health found that the vibrations produced by horses during horse riding triggers the activation of the sympathetic nervous system in humans, which then can lead to improved cognitive skills and ability to perform behavioral tasks. 

Researchers had children perform and complete simple tests directly before and after horse riding while measuring their heart rate in response to movements created by the horses. It was found that riding horses “greatly improved the ability of children” and could have long-term benefits.

Read also: First-born children have higher IQs, study suggests

“Some of the differences among the rider’s performances might be due to these accelerations,” said Mitsuaki Ohta, a professor at Tokyo University in Japan, to The Indian Express

Ohta continued, “We wanted to look into these effects because previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of horseback riding with respect to enhancing physical health and the mental effects, but few studies have addressed the effects of horseback riding on children and the mechanisms underlying how riding affects humans.” (sul/kes)

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