Harvard Medical School Professor John Ratey says physical exercise “puts the brain of [students] in the optimal position for them to learn.” Perhaps that is in part why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend adolescents get at least one hour of physical activity per day and adults over age 18 get at least 2.5 hours each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. In K-12 alone, students spend somewhere around 995 hours each year in the classroom, yet 44 percent of school administrators have reported cutting a significant amount of time from physical education classes and recess due to increased educational demands—we may have an imbalance on our hands.
This e-newsletter will discuss the benefits movement has on learning and overall health, and will offer ways for educators to incorporate increased movement in the classroom. Keep reading to find out more.
The benefits of movement on learning
Physical movement in the classroom, whether connected to your curriculum or not, has many benefits when it comes to learning:
How to increase movement at school:
Ready to get started and get students moving? Here are some ideas to amp up movement at school.
Remember, the benefits of movement on learning are great. Movement can make learning more meaningful, increase attention span and improve academic performance. Try one or all of these activities to get students moving in your classroom—you may just see a difference.
Griss, Susan. “The Power of Movement in Teaching and Learning.” Education Week Teacher. N.p., 20 Mar. 2013. Web. Retrieved 21 Nov. 2015.
“How much physical activity do children need?” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 09 Nov. 2011. Web. Retrieved 21 Nov. 2015.
DeSilver, Drew. “School Days: How the U.S. compares with other countries.” Pew Research Center RSS. N.p., 2 Sept. 2015. Web. Retrieved 20 Nov. 2015.
Hellmich, Nanci. “Report: More PE, activity programs needed in schools.” USA Today. Gannett, 23 May 2013. Web. Retrieved 18 Nov. 2015.
“What the Research Says.” Movement and Learning. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 24 Nov. 2015.
Blaydes, Jean, and Debby Mitchell. “Learning Through Movement and Music: How Exercise Benefits the Brain.” Human-kinetics. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 20 Nov. 2015.
Lynch, Karen. “How Sitting on a Ball Helps Kids Focus and Do Better In School.” Gaiam Life. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 21 Nov. 2015.
Jensen, Eric. “Teaching with the Brain and Mind: Chapter 4. Movement and Learning” ASCD, n.d. Web. Retrieved 19 Nov. 2015.
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