Move it, move it: how physical activity at school helps the mind (as well as the body)

Originally published July 22, 2018 in The Conversation.com.

By Brendon Hyndman

Federal Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie recently unveiled plans to convince state education and sports ministers to ensure sport and physical education is compulsory in schools.

The physical benefits of getting kids moving have been well recognised to help prevent chronic disease and develop movement habits across their lifespan. Read More

physical activity

Government Plans a Review of Children’s Physical Activity at School

Originally published June 25, 2018 in schoolsweekUK.

By Alix Robertson

Schools’ efforts to engage their least active pupils in physical activities will be reviewed by the government as it embarks on the second phase of its childhood wellness plan.

The second, published today, reveals that the government is to work across departments “to review how the least active children are being engaged in physical activity in and around the school day”, and will “consider how the primary PE and sport premium is being used.” Read More

P.E. classes

Noted educator calls for more P.E. classes to increase activity among local children

Originally published June 29, 2018 by OakRidger.com

By Ben Pounds

Shirley Holt-Hale, retired Linden Elementary School physical education teacher, is urging the Oak Ridge Board of Education to require two days of physical education for each elementary school student each week.

Her comments came during the scheduled time for comments at the recent Oak Ridge Board of Education meeting. Read More

physical activity

Implementing physical activity in schools is important for mental health

Originally published June 22, 2018 in Medical News Bulletin.

By Maor Bernshtein

A recent opinion article in JAMA Psychiatry discusses the mental health benefits of implementing regular physical activity in the educational system.

Physical exercise has long been known to be associated with significant improvements in individuals’ mental health and cognitive functioning. In fact, physical activity can reduce stress, improve depressive symptoms, and more. Late adolescence, including individuals who are 15 to 19 years old, is a period specifically characterized by increased stress and an increase in mental health problems, which are likely to persist and reach a peak in early adulthood. As such, physical activity is especially important during late adolescence. Read More

recess

24 Arkansas schools to expand recess

Boost from 15 to 45-60 minutes will allow unstructured play

Originally published May 28 in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

By Cynthia Howell

Twenty-four elementary schools in districts as large as Pulaski County Special, Conway and Fort Smith and as small as Fouke in Miller County will participate in an extended-recess pilot program for the 2018-19 school year.

For children in the Pulaski County Special School District’s Daisy Bates and Pine Forest elementaries, participation in the pilot program means free play time will go from the current 15 minutes after lunch to 60 minutes a day for kindergarten through fourth grades and 45 minutes for fifth-graders. Read More