Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

October 2017


Improving Kids' Wellness—In the Classroom

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Development Continues - September 2017

Louisville Splash 'n' Dash 5K Raises $35,000+ for Norton Children's Hospital - September 2017

Philadelphia Eagles Go Green - September 2017

High School Sports Participation Up, Nearing 8 Million - September 2017

Inside South Side High School's Redevelopment - August 2017

New Health Research Conducted at Special Olympics - August 2017

Protect Players From Heat - August 2017

Tackling the Active Play Deficit - August 2017

Botanical Garden Partners With Businesses on Health - July 2017

Survey Examines Parents' View of Play - July 2017

Kids Swim Free in Tucson This Summer - July 2017

Building Communities to Encourage Physical Activity - June 2017

California Campus Converts Courts to Golf Practice Space - June 2017

Where Are the Nation's Top City Park Systems? - June 2017

KaBOOM! Brings Play to Military Kids - May 2017

USA Basketball Open Court Sessions Get Youths Into the Game - May 2017

Educators Push Legislators to Support Health & Physical Education Programs - May 2017

NFHS Revises Rules for Competitive Spirit Squads - May 2017

Pool & Spa Professionals Fight Immigration Restrictions - April 2017

Grants Available to Boost Dog Parks - April 2017

New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency - April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding - April 2017

Study Confirms: People Pee in Pools - March 2017

Volunteers Get Hands-On History Experience in Virginia - March 2017

Park Hop Inspires Park Usage - March 2017

National Health Campaign Reaches 228,000 Youth in Three Years - March 2017

Outdoor REC Act Signed Into Law - February 2017

Happy 125th B-Day B-Ball! - February 2017

Study Shows Majority—Even Athletes—Are 'Overfat' - February 2017

Gym-Goers Like YMCA Best; Planet Fitness Winning Market Share - February 2017

Georgia State Park Celebrates Its Dark Sky Status - January 2017

Texas Tech Focuses on Functional Fitness - January 2017

Preventing Pool Closings - January 2017

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions - January 2017

City of Henderson Awarded for Water Safety Programs - December 2016

Grant Brings Outdoor Fitness Area to Park - December 2016

Alliance Recommends Actions to Improve Kids' Activity Stats - December 2016

Retractable Enclosures Help YMCAs Cut Costs, Boost Membership - November 2016

Huge Project Seeks to Rebuild Monarch Habitats - November 2016

Report: Camping More Popular Than Ever - November 2016

ACSM Predicts 2017 Fitness Trends - November 2016

CDC: More Than One-Quarter of 50-Plus U.S. Adults Don't Exercise - October 2016

Park District Recognized for Collaboration Efforts - October 2016

Americans Support Increased Local Funding for Parks & Rec - October 2016

High School Sports Participation Up for 27th Consecutive Year - October 2016

National Park Service Celebrates 100 Years of Successful Partnerships - October 2016

By Dave Ramont

Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence is not only important to kids when they're young, but in the long-term as well. Exercise at a young age can promote lifelong health and well-being, potentially preventing various health conditions down the road. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that children between the ages of 6 and 17 get at least one hour of physical activity every day. Unfortunately, some schools have been forced to reduce—or eliminate altogether—physical education programs due to budget cuts, leaving many kids without the opportunity to get enough physical activity or even learn how to exercise properly.

And now a new study examines the effects of daily in-classroom workouts on elementary school students. The independent study was performed by Dr. Leon Greene at the University of Kansas Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, and was sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), a leading health and fitness nonprofit. The goal was to determine if it would be a cost effective solution to introduce more physical activity into schools by using short exercise videos in classrooms.

Sixteen teachers and more than 400 students in second through fifth grades were involved in the study. Eight exercise videos were designed by researchers with the help of physical education teachers, which featured the appropriate language and skill level for each group. Teachers had students exercise with the ten-minute videos for one month, up to twice a day, with data showing that students reached a moderate level of exercise, the intensity of a brisk walk or slow jog. Students and teachers alike enjoyed the short exercise breaks, and results showed that students were more active and better behaved.

Cedric X. Bryant, ACE chief science officer, explained that it's important for children to develop a positive relationship with physical activity while they're young, making it easier to incorporate exercise into their lifestyles as adults. "These videos could be a powerful tool to both getting kids moving now and keeping them moving throughout their lives. They are low-cost and easy to administer, which means these videos could help shift the traditionally sedentary classrooms toward becoming more dynamic settings."

Bryant added that emerging research suggests a strong positive link exists between exercise and improved academic performance.

One hundred percent of participating teachers found that students enjoyed the videos, which were easy to incorporate into their lesson plans. They also reported that they could see themselves utilizing the videos, which were fun and engaging, in the future. Additionally, 15 out of 16 teachers felt that behavior in the classroom improved after each session.

Bryant pointed out that one in five children in the United States is obese. "Daily movement will help lead kids to better health and enhanced learning ability," he said. When kids grow up with the idea that movement is an integral aspect of all parts of life, we can start shifting the tide on the global epidemic of preventable inactivity-related diseases. That means a world of healthier and happier lives."