The Importance of Exercise in the Classroom
Updated: Dec 5, 2020
It is recommended that students need at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. It has been shown that students display better performance in school when they are physically active. Starting to build healthy habits in the classroom will help students maintain them lifelong!
Benefits of Physical Activity in the Classroom
Physical activity has shown improvement in on task behavior, test scores, and focus. Appealing to student's natural curiosity and kinesthetic learning also improves retention. Brain breaks that involve movement will energize students and help them engage in the lesson that follows. Physical activity also stimulates and creates endorphins that improve mood. "Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviors (e.g., on-task behavior)".
If physical activity is not integrated into the classroom, students are sedentary too often and are at a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes, low bone density, and high blood pressure. Students need a mixture of aerobic, bone, and muscle-strengthening each day!
Ideas to Integrate Physical Activity
Exercise in the classroom can be fun and exciting, but sometimes you don't know where to start. Here are some ideas!
DANCE!: You can set up Just Dance, or stream Youtube videos with classroom appropriate songs.
You could go walk outside for a break or have a class outside.
Some teachers use fitness dice, where you role a die with different exercises on each of the faces, and whatever exercise it lands on the class does together. Try a code word or phrase!
Each time a student asks to get a drink of water, the students can do some jumping jacks or stretch.
Whatever you try, it's recommended to have 2 brain breaks a day in addition to involving movement in lessons. Check out the following resources or search for own own ideas on how to implement exercise in your classroom/
Comment below with any fun exercise suggestions you have! We look forward to hearing from you.