Setting Preschoolers on an Active Path

Originally published Feb. 12, 2019 in U.S. News & World Reports.

By Len Canter, HealthDay Reporter

Physical activity is closely linked to development of a child’s mental skills — ones essential to academic success and navigating challenges they’ll face throughout life.

Studies show that boosts in thinking ability, or executive function, often follow bouts of activity. But only one-third of children are physically active every day. Less than half the time they spend in school activities — like physical education, team practices and even games — includes movement that qualifies as physical activity. This shortfall means that their physical health, as well as their mental skills, may suffer. Read More

‘I have a first grader who hasn’t been outside since October’: Mom questions lack of recess

Originally published Feb. 4, 2019 in the Bristol Herald Courier.

By Valerie Honeycutt Spears

The mother of two Fayette County, Ky., students is questioning how much physical activity her children get at school.

Janine Schmedding-Bartley, who has two children at Millcreek Elementary School, said her “first-grader hasn’t been outside since October.

At a public hearing, she said her fifth-grade daughter and her first-grade son get far less physical activity than was offered at schools in Michigan. The family moved from there to Lexington this academic year. Read More

Hunter research helping to show how exercise supports academic achievement

Originally published Jan. 4, 2019 in the Newcastle Herald.

By David Lubans

With so much emphasis on academic achievement, it can be difficult for physical activity and sport to gain traction in the school environment.

This is partly due to the misconception that allocating time for students to be active at school will hurt their academic performance. This view is not only disappointing but ill-informed. Read More

Technology use vs. physical activity

Originally published Dec. 12, 2018 in The Herald-Tribune.

Want to be healthy over the holidays? Put down your smartphone.

Putting away the smartphone, iPad and other devices may be the first step to enjoying a healthier lifestyle during the holidays, says Jagdish Khubchandani, a member of the Global Health Institute at Ball State University and a physiology and health science professor. Read More

How much physical activity should teenagers do, and how can they get enough?

Originally published Dec. 10 in The Conversation.

Many teenagers spend a lot of time being sedentary (sitting or lying down) at school or work, when travelling and during their free time. Modern conveniences such as smart phones, computers and food delivered to your front door encourage sedentary behaviour. But this lack of physical activity can have negative consequences for your physical and mental health.

We have all probably been told we have to exercise to stay healthy, but how much physical activity is the right amount for teenagers? And what are the benefits? Read More