Childhood obesity is on the rise in the United States, and each year the number keeps climbing. There is more focus on academics and less focus on physical activity. What if at least 30 minutes of physical activity could boost a child’s academics? Well, it can!
The current problem:
· Physical activity in schools in underutilized or not at all.
· Current students do not get the recommended 150-200 minutes of physical activity per week.
· Schools de-emphasize the importance of physical activity in order to fulfill the standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act.
Incorporating physical activity into a child’s school day, can improve not only their fitness levels, but also their cognitive function. Some benefits of daily physical activity include:
· Activities that trigger the cardiovascular system (i.e. running, skipping, and jump rope) have a positive impact on a child’s cognitive function.
· Daily physical activity can lower waist-circumference, blood-pressure and change blood chemistry, all of which is positively associated with an increase in cognitive function.
· Daily physical activity in elementary students has been shown to improve composite, reading, math, and spelling scores.
· Intermittent physical activity throughout an elementary student’s day, can improve the attention-to-task response of a student.
· Physical activity from just 45-75 minutes a week can show these positive impacts.
The goal here is to get as many people as possible informed on the problem so we can come together as one to solve the issue at hand. The solution seems so simple, but it is easily ignored. So, take a stand today to not only do something about it now but to help better the future for the generations to come!
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Dr. Monica Lounsbery-Active