Kids Fitness and Classroom Success
While this site is geared towards middle-aged adults and focuses on exercise, nutrition, and hormone replacement, I thought we talk some today about kids fitness. The components of healthy living and aging should start at birth anyway, right? Many kids these days are eating unhealthy and getting little physical activity outside organized sports. They’re are cloistered in their homes playing video games, chatting on social media, or texting one another. I’ve even witness four kids sit at table and instead of talking to each other just text one another back and forth. Whatever happen to kid fitness?
Unfortunately, one area that tends to get cut because of lack of money in primary and secondary education is physical education. But should it? A recent study involving 152 elementary and middle schools in Kansas during the 2011-12 school year and involving 13,000 students found a link between physical fitness and performance on math and reading exams.
The study compared math and reading profiency for students who passed one or none of five fitness tests versus those who passed all five fitness tests. Those who passed one or none fitness tests scored a 50.4% on math proficiency and 41.8% on reading proficiency. Those students who passed all five fitness tests scored 70.3% on math proficiency and 73.5% on reading proficiency – a pretty sizeable difference. It was postulated that improved blood flow to the brain improved student focus and concentration. Most of the students in the study did not participate in extracurricular sports.
Lack of Kids Fitness in Schools
Physical education in elementary and middle schools nowadays range from 30 minutes daily to two to three times a week. Perhaps one take home message for those with ADD and ADHD is to be more physically active as it seems to improve focus and concentration. No one, but especially a kid, is meant to sit still for 6-8 consecutive hours a day (I know I could not sit for 8 hours of lecture during medical school).
Parents and Kids Fitness
Example may be the best form of leadership. And like trickle down economics perhaps there is a trickle down effect when it comes to physical activity where parents model by example the importance of physical activity to their kids. Keep that in mind if you still have kids at home. Instead of more time doing homework maybe kid shoulds spend more time riding bikes or horses, jumping over fences, or running to catch frogs, butterflies, and lightening bugs. And instead of filming, photographing, and documenting every moment of their life essentially doing nothing and posting it online, perhaps they should focus on becoming individuals that excel at the basics of life and develop skills to be employable in any economy.