How kids can move more at school, Nordic style

Originally published July 8, 2019 in The Conversation.

Inactivity in school children has been in the news again with the release of a study into the health of Australian 11 and 12-year-olds from around the country.

The 1,800 person study found most children were healthy. But there was room for improvement in areas including physical activity and weight. Read More

The Best Type of Exercise Uses Your Body – And Your Brain

Originally published June 17, 2019 in Quartzy.

By Andrew Merle

Dr. John Ratey has studied the brain for more than 40 years.

As a psychiatrist, he has always been interested in how we can make our brains function better. And while he appreciates the magic of modern medicine, he has found that lifestyle factors have the most profound effects on the brain.

In particular, he has found that exercise is the number one thing we can do for brain health.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. Ratey last week at his office in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to learn more about the effects of exercise on the brain, and what we can all do in our own lives to reap the benefits. Read More

Children miss out on making friends amid shorter school break times, study finds

Originally published May 10, 2019 in The Independent.

By Eleanor Busby

Children are missing out on opportunities to make friends, socialise and exercise after school break times have been cut by as much as an hour over the past two decades, research finds.

The study, by University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Education, warns of a near “virtual elimination” of afternoon breaks, especially in secondary schools, and shorter lunch breaks. Read More

How to tackle testing trauma in 4 effective ways

Originally published March 27, 2019 in eschoolnews.com.

By Michael S. Gaskell

It’s that time of year again. Standardized testing is making its way throughout American schools, and with it, nerves are ramping up. Because high-stakes tests happen all year (e.g., midterms, formal assessments), you can use any or all of these strategies at any time. However, they are especially helpful during the intensity of high-stakes testing season.

These strategies are quick, easily adaptable to any school setting, and work with all age groups. Employing just one will be helpful, but the progressive effect of adding them together is even more effective. Read More

Social emotional learning and physical tasks

Originally published March 17, 2019 in the Hillsdale Daily News.

By Steve Head

The superintendents of Lenawee County schools have made social-emotional learning the focus of our monthly articles for this school year.

This month, the focus is on the role of physical activity on social-emotional learning. Physical education classes and play provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to develop the key skills necessary for self-confidence and self-esteem, along with a healthy lifestyle. Read More