Tagged “Integrating Movement”

ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Schools Can Reverse the Sedentary Trend

Monica Lounsbery

Post submitted by Monica A.F. Lounsbery, PhD, professor and director of the Physical Activity Policy Research Program, Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences, at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

When we were growing up, when someone said physical activity they usually meant exercise, or exercise and physical activity were one and the same. That was also a time when we walked or rode our bikes everywhere, at school we had daily physical education and recess three times per day, and playing outside with neighborhood friends was the best social opportunity a kid could have. We didn't have computers or cell phones, our families had only one car, and while we had television, we only had a handful of channels. Television programs were geared mostly to adult viewers and signed off in the late evening. We had cartoons, but they were only on Saturday morning until 10:00 a.m.

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Eric Jensen

How Important Is Exercise at Schools?

While many schools are reducing physical activity because of time constraints created by the No Child Left Behind Act, a large group of studies has linked physical activity with cognition.

The researchers have come at the topic from a wide range of disciplines. Some are cognitive scientists or exercise physiologists. Other advocates are educational psychologists, neurobiologists, or physical educators. The applied research, which compares academic achievement between schools where kids have physical activity and those where they don't, also supports the hypothesis.

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ASCD Whole Child Bloggers

Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Schools

Shane Pill

Post submitted by Shane Pill, a former science and physical education teacher in schools in Perth and Adelaide, Australia, where he also held leadership positions that include director of school administration and deputy principal. At Flinders University, Shane lectures in curriculum and physical education studies. His research interests include curriculum design and enactment; pedagogical models for sport; and sport-related games teaching, sport coaching, and curriculum leadership. He is also a part of the Sport, Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) Research Group and is the president of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education, and Recreation–South Australian Branch. Connect with Shane on his website and on Twitter @pilly66.

Schools, and physical education teachers in particular, have more to offer than any other institution in helping children lead active and healthy lives. That's because the right permissive environment can lead to high levels of physical activity (Australian Sports Commission, 2004).

There is little doubt that decreasing activity levels are significantly affected by our changing (read, more sedentary) lifestyle. It also appears many parents are spending less time with their children due to work commitments and that, when they are with their children, time, finances, and access to facilities also prevent them from engaging in physical activity with their children (Martin et al., 2002).

Schools are the only context where we can ensure every child is exposed to a permissive environment that works with children's natural desire to play and move and that provides for the possibility of a coordinated, sequentially developed health education.

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Peter DeWitt

The Importance of Movement

Have you ever had to sit in the same seat for hours at a time at a long meeting? As you looked around you saw other attendees bouncing their legs up and down because they began to get restless after sitting for such a long period of time. Then it happens! The facilitator allows a break, and people jump from their seats to get the circulation going in their bodies. Movement increases your energy level and the feelings of lethargy float away.

That feeling of sitting down and not being able to wait to get out of your seat is how students in our school systems feel every day. They sneak a walk to the water fountain or get up to go to the bathroom just so they can move their bodies. Physically, they need to get out of their seats to alleviate some of the energy that they have stored up as they sit through a lesson.

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Podcast Whole Child Podcast

More Than Just Gym: Integrating Movement Across the School Day

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A high-quality physical education program is indisputably important, and so is ensuring that students are active across the school day and not just in gym class for 45 minutes—or worse, 20 minutes every other day. Research shows that kids who are physically active are not only healthier, but are also likely to perform better academically, and short activity breaks during the school day can improve concentration, behavior, and enhance learning. In short, school-based physical activity is valuable exercise—it aids cognitive development, increases engagement and motivation, and is essential to a whole child approach to education.

In this episode of the Whole Child Podcast, we discuss new ways to encourage movement and how schools are bringing physical activity out of the gym and into the classroom to maximize learning and well-being. You'll hear from

  • Jill Vialet, CEO and founder of whole child partner Playworks, the only nonprofit organization in the country to send trained, full-time program coordinators to low-income, urban schools, where they transform recess and play into positive experiences that help kids and teachers get the most out of every learning opportunity throughout the school day.
  • Michael Opitz, a former elementary school teacher and reading specialist and current professor of reading at the University of Northern Colorado, is the author of Literacy Lessons to Help Kids Get Fit & Healthy, in which he shares secrets for combining literacy-rich, ready-to-use lessons with easy-to-implement fitness exercises.
  • Andria Caruthers, is principal at West Education Campus in Washington, D.C., where she works toward student success through motivating her students to focus on academics and the well-being of the total body.

How do you design your classroom lessons to include movement and physical activity? What effects has this had on student engagement and overall school climate?

Klea Scharberg

Throughout November: Integrating Movement

Ensuring students participate in a high-quality physical education program is important. Equally important is ensuring that students are active across the school day and not just in gym class. Research shows that kids who are physically active are not only healthier, but are also likely to perform better academically, and short activity breaks during the school day can improve concentration, behavior, and enhance learning. In short, school-based physical activity is valuable exercise—it aids cognitive development, increases engagement and motivation, and is essential to a whole child approach to education.

Whether it be extracurricular, cocurricular, or embedded in the academic curriculum itself, integrating movement across the school day in elementary school, the middle grades, and high school can be used to maximize learning and help ensure that students are healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged. Join us throughout November as we take a look at new ways to encourage movement and how schools are bringing physical activity out of the gym and into the classroom.

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