Health and Fitness: Back to school and ready to learn

Originally published Aug. 18, 2019 in the Aiken Standard.

By Dr. Brian B. Parr

Physical activity and good nutrition have long been recognized as essential for promoting good health in adults and children. More and more research suggests that these health behaviors can have beneficial effects beyond health, including how we perform both physically and mentally. The emphasis here is on children in school, but it applies to adults, too.

Unfortunately, taking time for activity and good nutrition is seen as a luxury or a distraction to learning in most schools. Far from being a distraction, physical activity and healthy eating are prerequisites for learning and academic achievement. In short, these often-ignored factors can help make sure children are ready to learn. This is especially relevant at this time of year since children are headed back to school. Read More

CDC researcher: Physical activity one of the most important ways to improve health

Originally published July 27, 2019 by WRVO Public Media.

With much discussion on how sedentary Americans are in the present society, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created guidelines for activity, all with the message that any exercise is better than none at all.

Dr. John D. Omura, who works in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity at the CDC in the Physical Activity and Health Branch, spoke with “Take Care” about the CDC and his research. He has helped author several studies relating to exercise, including “Walking as an Opportunity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention,” which he hopes will encourage more Americans to stay active. Read More

‘Why I’m opening my school doors over summer’

Originally published July 10, 2019 in TES.

By Azita Zohhadi

At Nelson Mandela Primary School, we pride ourselves on delivering an enriching and varied curriculum, giving every child an opportunity to find their talent and flourish in an inclusive and stimulating environment.

But I often wonder how much of this is in vain, if those same children come back in September having regressed after a summer of disconnection, disengagement and inactivity – through no fault of their own. Read More

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