Is more physical education at school linked to higher student math scores?

In January, we decided to post tips on my school’s facebook page for students to get organized as part of Get Organized Month.

I posted many many suggestions, and a few of them were selected, but one suggestion I gave was to organize time. I wrote:

Use a timer to help you organize your time and create a schedule for your courses. For example, set a timer for 50 minutes. Work as hard as you can until the timer goes off, and then take a 5 – 10 minute break from your studies. Your brain needs the rest before learning some more. During your break, do something active – exercise or do some stretches, have a snack or take a quick walk or jog, or play a quick game or read a book to activate your brain in a different way.

For me, it was important to include the part about exercise during a student’s break time. I’m a firm believer that a student needs to take care of their whole body to help them learn. Our parts are too connected between the brain and the rest of the body.

Imagine my delight when I found an article this week by the Washington Post called Is more physical education at school linked to higher student math scores?.

“This finding demonstrates that students’ academic performance improves when there’s a balance between time spent on physical education and time spent on learning,” said Stacey Snelling, dean of American University’s School of Education.

Granted, this study was just looking at a handful of elementary schools, but I don’t see why the results couldn’t be extrapolated to all people of all ages.

Recently my daughter and I started doing “pretend jump rope,” where we move our hands as if we were holding jump ropes, but our hands are empty. We also jump as if we were jump roping. (I started jumping rope after reading a different article by Drs. Oz and Roizen last August.

Can you think of any ways to introduce more activity for your students? Let me know in the comments.


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