Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Active and healthy schools get kids moving

Date:
May 19, 2010
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
In Missouri, one elementary school is seeing the benefits of incorporating physical activity in their classrooms with the adoption of the Active and Healthy Schools Program. The program has helped to increase kids' activity levels, improve their attention span and reduce discipline problems.

Last month, first lady Michelle Obama launched "Let's Move," a new campaign to combat childhood obesity. The initiative seeks to improve school nutrition programs and promote physical activity. In Missouri, one elementary school is seeing the benefits of incorporating physical activity in their classrooms with the adoption of the Active and Healthy Schools Program. The program, implemented by University of Missouri researchers, has helped to increase kids' activity levels, improve their attention span and reduce discipline problems.

The Active and Healthy Schools Program is being tested at Leslie Bell Elementary School with the guidance of Steve Ball, MU associate professor of exercise physiology and MU Extension state fitness specialist. As a part of the program, students participate in 3-5 minute activity breaks throughout the day. Activity breaks include activity-based games such as jumping, walking or climbing stairs, and may occur inside or outside of the classroom. After breaks, teachers resume schoolwork and students' attention levels are restored.

"The kids love the activity breaks because it gives them something active and fun to do," said Amanda Fienkeldie, guidance counselor at Leslie Bell Elementary School. "Since the program began, discipline referrals among kids with chronic behavior problems have decreased, and there is a significant improvement in their academics, participation and ability to stay on task."

In addition to activity breaks, students and faculty wear pedometers to fuel competition among students and teachers and increase the number of their steps. Activity zones are placed throughout playgrounds to engage students in different activities, including hula-hoop, jump-rope and games. Signs and pictures with healthy messages about nutrition and activity are displayed in classrooms and throughout the school.

"The idea is to help schools demonstrate to kids the importance of physical activity and nutrition," Ball said. "The program encourages small changes that schools can build on to gradually create an environment that reflects health and fitness."

Prior to implementing the program, teachers were instructed on how to manage activity breaks without disrupting academic schedules. Ball presented research explaining how the program can improve learning, decrease discipline problems and increase physical activity in students at a young age, which makes them more likely to be healthy as adults.

"Now, the kids are more excited about PE and recess," said Gayle Frerking, physical education teacher at Leslie Bell Elementary School. "Students are starting to participate more in youth basketball, dance and gymnastics programs. What they're learning in school is being spread outside the school and into the community."

Initial research for the Active and Healthy Schools Program was conducted at Arizona State University. In the initial study of the program at a school in Arizona, researchers found significant increases in students' steps and a reduction in absences and school nurse visits. The researchers also received positive feedback from parents, students and school personnel.

The current study is designed to further evaluate the program and encourage surrounding school districts to adopt similar efforts. It is funded in part by a grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

Further information.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Active and healthy schools get kids moving." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519143411.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2010, May 19). Active and healthy schools get kids moving. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519143411.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Active and healthy schools get kids moving." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100519143411.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins