Staying active to achieve more in the classroom

Originally published Jan. 11, 2018 in the LI/5 towns Herald.

Educators believe recess is key to educational success

By Tyler Marko

Whether it was climbing on the monkey bars, pumping your legs on the swings or playing tag, odds are that recess was one of the few activities that made those grueling schooldays fun. That break from sitting at a classroom desk to expel excess energy are likely some of your fondest school memories.

A 2009 study by the American Academy of Pediatrics showed that when 8-to 9-year-old children have more than 15 minutes of recess their teachers would report better behavior scores, and the Center for Disease Control reported a year later that physical activity could improve academic achievement.

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Physical fitness study involves 2 Minnesota schools

Originally published Jan. 8, 2018 in the Pine Journal.

Minnesota elementary school students who met national recommendations for aerobic fitness are more likely to have a healthy weight and have better academic outcomes than students who didn’t meet those recommendations.

That’s according to a study of 14 elementary schools in central and northern Minnesota who are involved with the Active Schools Minnesota initiative, which assists students in reaching the national physical activity guideline of at least 60 minutes of movement every day. (Read the study’s report at

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Longevity and Academic Performance Increase as Students Exercise at an Elevated Heart Rate

Oct. 5, 2017 – Different companies have different philosophies about the key metrics in evaluating exercise sessions. There are devices the measure exercise at an elevated heart rate, how many steps we have taken, how fast we have run a given distance, and how many calories we have burned.

IHT designed the Spirit System to focus on minutes of exercise because academic research on both children and adults shows conclusively that exercise at an elevated heart rate is correlated to increased longevity, improved cognitive performance, and self-regulation and classroom functioning among children.

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Washoe Schools Program Tests Link Between Fitness, Academic Performance

By studying standardized test results next month, physical education teachers in Reno, Nev., are analyzing how heart rate-based physical education has helped improve both student fitness and academic performance.

Organized by Pine Middle School P.E. teacher Jencie Fagan, seven Washoe County School District teachers are using the adidas Zone for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitors from Interactive Health Technologies to document an increase in math and reading scores in connection with increased student fitness.   

Fagan“Our objective is to have the students wear the heart rate monitors for at least 20 minutes twice a week,” Fagan said. “Then we will link their fitness improvements with their Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) scores.”  Read More


Two Pasadena ISD schools honored for getting fit

Originally published Oct. 10, 2017  in the Houston Chronicle.

By Carissa D. Lamkahouan

Students and staff members at Red Bluff and Turner elementary schools in Pasadena ISD have been named amongst the healthiest in Texas, having earned bronze-level recognition from the nonprofit Alliance for a Healthier Generation as part of its 2017 list of America’s Healthiest Schools.

The alliance, established in 2005, considers best practices in schools, including the quality of food served, access to safe drinking water, staff health, physical education curriculum, after-school activities, parental involvement and how much recess children enjoy, said Jeannine Rios, a senior program manager in Texas for the organization.

At both Red Bluff and Turner, the physical education teachers have taken the lead, with the support of their administrators, to help children boost wellness at school and to educate the youngsters about appropriate exercise and nutrition.

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