muscular fitness

Muscular Fitness Plays Key Role in Academic Success, Study Finds

Studies continue to define the impact improved cardiovascular fitness has on students’ academic readiness, and a recent study details the positive correlation between muscular fitness and cognitive function.

“Muscular Fitness, Working Memory and Academic Achievement in Children,” authored by Shih-Chun Kao, concluded that “muscular fitness may have unique contributions to working memory independent of aerobic fitness.” Read More

fitness time

In response to research, schools boost physical fitness time

Originally published Feb. 26, 2018 by Education Dive.

By Amelia Harper

Schools are paying more attention to the need to include physical fitness as experts like Charles Hillman, an advisor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, say that evidence of the connection between fitness and brain function has mounted steadily over the years, according to the Hechinger Report.

In 2015, only 27% of high school students were getting the recommended number of minutes of daily exercise, and girls, Hispanic students, and black students received less exercise than white students, according to data from Child Trends.

Some school districts are trying new physical education approaches that are reaping results. In Fort Worth, for example, a school switched to four 15-minute periods of recess per day instead of one 20 minute session and saw a 25% to 35% decrease in off-task behaviors. And in Wisconsin, the state education department is now overseeing a program called Core 4+ (or “active kids, active classrooms) that features interventions to increase movement during the school day. Read More

School’s focus on student fitness contributes to academic successes

Data from student-worn heart rate monitors and research about the positive impact physical education has on academic success convinced an IDEA Public Schools principal to make sure students who need academic support don’t get it at the expense of exercise and fitness.

“‘You will no longer take kids out of PE for academic intervention until they have had at least 30 minutes in P.E. utilizing the monitors,’” mandated IDEA Monterrey Park principal Curtis Lawrence.

IDEA students wear the adidas Zone for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitors during physical education and strive to exercise at an elevated heart rate for as long as they can during class or activity breaks. Students can see in real time if they are improving their fitness by exercising in the target heart rate zone (yellow for moderate to vigorous activity; red for vigorous activity) by the color displayed on the heart rate monitor. Read More


Delivering Quality P.E. Improves Student Physical, Academic Fitness

Schools that provide quality physical education are seeing the benefits well beyond student fitness levels.

The IDEA Public School network saw five of its Texas-based high schools earn rankings among the country’s most challenging high schools. Teachers in Nevada and Iowa are working to prove the direct correlation between improved physical fitness and academic performance.

In many cases, students wear heart rate monitors such as the adidas Zone for IHT Spirit wrist heart rate monitor while they exercise during their physical education classes. Teachers then analyze the data through IHT’s Assessment Measures software, where they gauge each student’s individual performance based on that day’s goal for time spent exercising at an elevated heart rate.

At IDEA Public Schools, five high school campuses that put a priority on helping students achieve Center for Disease Control-recommended minimums of physical activity per week were honored for academic achievement by the Washington Post. Read More


KU-led program gets kids moving in school with physical activity, increased focus

Originally published by the KU News Service, Oct. 10, 2017

LAWRENCE — When it comes to activity in schools, physical education classes and recess have been the standard for decades. But a University of Kansas-led project has shown success in helping children and teachers get as much as 20 minutes of additional physical activity in the classroom with the aid of web-based exercise videos that get kids moving without disrupting the academic schedule.

Leon Greene, associate professor of health, sport and exercise science at KU, led a program funded by the American Council for Exercise that produced a series of 10-minute videos for use in a Kansas elementary school. The project produced eight videos, two each for grades two through five, featuring a physical education teacher leading 10 minutes of continual exercise. Measurements and observations showed the students took part in moderate to high intensity activity, were engaged in the activities, and teachers reported positive reactions to the programs as well.

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