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Shedding light on children’s physical activity

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“A new study highlights some of the barriers children face in being more physically active in their local neighbourhoods. Walking, scooting and riding to and from school helps children get the physical activity they need each day to be healthy and can kick-start healthy habits to set them up for a lifetime of good health. However, new research by Deakin University’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN), in partnership with VicHealth, has found that how often a child independently travelled to and from school was affected by how much they enjoyed it, parental safety concerns and proximity to walking tracks.”(more)

How Colleges Are Stepping Up Campus Walkability

The Atlantic – Ashlie Stevens

“Two University of Kentucky students pause in front of a streetlamp in the middle of campus. One holds his phone up to a bright blue sign attached to the pole, and steadies his camera over a QR code. “I had no clue that was three minutes away,” his friend says…This scenario is a common occurrence since the installation of nearly 80 signs around campus as part of Walk [UK], a collaboration with the civic startup Walk [Your City]. The bright blue signs show the distance in minutes to on- and off-campus destinations that may be closer than students, staff, and visitors realize…the U.S. Surgeon General issued a statement in September promoting walkable communities as a public-health strategy…The University of Kentucky Hospital physician Connie Jennings posits that the technology may have a positive effect on student health. “This is the first generation that may live shorter lives than their parents, and inactivity plays a huge part in that,” Jennings says.”(more)

Schools can — and should — teach more than discipline

The Seattle Times – Jerry Large

“Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline doesn’t require more information or analysis. It requires a will to change strong enough to produce sustained, effective action. Someone said that the other night at a meeting about the pipeline. And a lot of people said what a lot of people have been saying for a very long time, the gist being don’t criminalize kids, educate them. Well, maybe it takes repetition to sink in deep enough to matter. Here’s a definition of the pipeline: “ … the policies and practices that push our nation’s schoolchildren, especially our most at-risk children, out of classrooms and into the juvenile and criminal justice systems.” That’s from the American Civil Liberties Union, one of numerous organizations working nationally to fix what’s wrong. Schools went along with the tough-on-crime, no-tolerance attitude that swept politics and the criminal-justice system in the 1980s. The result has been a huge increase in the number of children suspended or expelled, often for classroom behavior that could be dealt with productively if it were treated as a teaching opportunity.”(more)

A Wonderful Poster on the Benefits of Reading

Educational Technology & Mobile Learning – Raphael Lysander

“Today I am sharing with you this wonderful infographic on the benefits of reading…did you know that a 6 minutes of reading can reduce stress by 60%? How about the fact that reading reduces stress more than listening to music by 68%, walking by 300%, and playing video games by 700%? Yes, these and several other facts included in the visual below are really mind-blowing and the important thing about this work is that it is backed up by references to books, articles and scientific studies.”(more)

Stanford study finds walking improves creativity

Stanford News – May Wong

“Stanford researchers found that walking boosts creative inspiration. They examined creativity levels of people while they walked versus while they sat. A person’s creative output increased by an average of 60 percent when walking.”(more)