Physical Activity in School

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     Physical Activity Turns on the Brain!

    Researchers have found that physical activity has a positive impact on academic achievement and student behavior.  Recent studies have demonstrated this connection, along with improvement in:

    • Concentration
    • Self-esteem
    • Memory
    • Verbal skills

    Integrating movement into classroom  routines and lessons can contribute to:

    • Increases in learning ability
    • Better attentiveness and alertness
    • Heightened engagement
    • Decreases in behavioral issues and outbursts
    • Decreases in absenteeism

    The Case for Physical Activity and Physical Education (PE)

    Everything that gets your body up and moving is physical activity. That includes dancing, walking, yoga, jumping.  It can be during classroom fitness breaks, recess or physical education class.  Physical education is a formal class that teaches the merits of physical activity and how to integrate it into one's life throughout the lifespan, through sports and exercise.  

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily for school-aged children.  Only about 24% of children are achieving this.  In school, not every child receives daily PE class, so including time for physical activity is a necessity for all students. Physical activity can occur during:

    • Physical education class
    • Recess
    • Classroom-based activities/exercises
    • Before/After childcare and extracurricular activities


    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The association between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance. July 2010.