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New school of thought: In-class physical exercise won’t disrupt learning, teaching

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“As childhood obesity rates rise and physical education offerings dwindle, elementary schools keep searching for ways to incorporate the federally mandated half-hour of physical activity into the school day. A series of recent University of Michigan studies found that two-minute bursts of in-class exercise breaks increased the amount of daily exercise for elementary children without hurting math performance. More importantly, when incorporated into classrooms across southeast Michigan, teachers found the breaks were doable and didn’t disrupt learning.” (more)

When it comes to school recess, a quality playground experience matters

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Recess periods can offer physical, cognitive, social and emotional benefits to elementary school children, but those benefits are tied closely to the quality of the playground experience. Playground safety, access to play equipment, peer conflict resolution and quality engagement between adults and students are among the factors that contribute to a quality recess experience, new research from Oregon State University shows.” (more)

Self-defense becoming popular physical education component

Education Dive – Lauren Barack

“Gym teacher Charles Schweizer first launched a five-week mini-course on self-defense in 2001, at the request of his school’s athletic director. The class, which covered practical techniques as well as teaching students how to be aware of their surroundings, clearly had an influence at Hicksville (NY) High School. Today, the course runs a full semester and has 10 sections — enough to make sure the 290 juniors and seniors who signed up this year could enroll.” (more)

‘I forget my PE kit deliberately’ – the boys who hate sport

BBC – Judith Burns

“Boys like Dan and Olly are a significant and worrying minority, according to Youth Sport Trust chief executive Ali Oliver. “About 30% of boys don’t enjoy or look forward to physical activity,” she says, quoting a survey published by the charity last year. Among boys aged 14-16, fewer than half (47%) consider PE skills relevant to their daily lives, and overall, only 16% of boys do the 60 minutes of exercise a day recommended by the government’s chief medical officer.” (more)

How a growing number of states are hoping to improve kids’ brains: exercise

The Hechinger Report – Lillian Mongeau

“Despite her stated disinterest, the level of physical activity Anna and her classmates experience during their school day is unusual and probably beneficial. In the U.S., where 31 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are obese, most school children move far too little, experts say. Thirty years of focus on increasing academic minutes in the school day has resulted in reduced recess and physical education time at many schools. The lack of physical activity is taking a toll on student fitness and that’s bad for growing brains, research shows.” (more)

Teenagers are as sedentary as 60-year-olds by age 19

The Washington Post – Ariana Eunjung Cha

“The adolescent years are when people’s bodies are supposed to start the ascent to their physical peak. Teenagers are growing like beanstalks. Their hormones are raging. They’re eager for new experiences. By all accounts, this should be among the most active periods in a person’s lifetime. Except it turns out it’s not. In an eye-opening study involving 12,529 Americans ages 6 to 85, researchers mapped how physical activity changes over a lifetime. The participants, part of the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, wore accelerometers, devices that measure movement, for seven consecutive days. For the purposes of the analysis, researchers counted all types of movement, not just exercise.”(more)