Academics + Exercise = Physically Active Learning

Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting will include research that confirms exercise is good for the body and the mind. The study took First through Sixth Graders from an academically low scoring elementary school.  Children participated in the program 40 minutes per day, 5 days per week and used an Action Based Learning (ABL) Lab for younger students and All Minds Exercise (AMX) room for older students. The program utilized developmentally appropriate movement exercises in alliance with academic skills in a defined subject area, also known as “Physically Active Learning.”  For example, in Language Arts a student may crabwalk across the classroom pick up a word and move back to their team to classify the word as a noun, adjective, or verb.  Educators utilizing this form of learning are finding that students stay engaged, concentrate better and perform better on tests.  The correlation between exercise and academics makes sense, because when we exercise the heart beats faster, pumping oxygen to the brain and improving the ability to think. Educators are also seeing an improvement in attendance and student behavior which is an added bonus.  While we see a steady increase in substantial evidence that Physically Active Learning may help improve behavior, academic skills and attitudes of our students, Physical Education continues to be cut from our schools. Perhaps it is time to acknowledge that physical activity and academics are both crucial to the development and learning of our students and need not be mutually exclusive.

For more information on how to bring Physically Active Learning to your school, after school program or camp contact us at shelley@pearprograms.com.

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