Schools find active kids make smarter students

  • Article by: HERÓN MÁRQUEZ ESTRADA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 23, 2012 - 9:57 AM

Local results echo a growing body of research showing a connection between physical activity and academic performance.

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bootsy07Apr. 22, 12 9:33 PM

It's a pity that there isn't a full hour of vigorous PE every day for all students. It would improve schools perhaps more than any other single measure.

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pdxtranApr. 23, 1212:03 AM

Well, duh. Anyone who has ever been around kids knows that they are naturally physically active unless they are sick or depressed, and that the idea that they need to skip recess to concentrate on their test scores is completely wrong-headed.

I went to grade school in a medium-sized Wisconsin city and lived five blocks from school. No school buses except for the ones that picked up the Catholic school and Lutheran school kids from all over town. Since we went home for lunch, I walked twenty blocks every day without thinking about it. So did most of my classmates. The kids that we would think of as hyperactive today ran the distance--literally. We also had two 15-minute recesses.

Oh, and we took the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, but they were for internal assessment purposes only.

It was a much healthier and more natural way to grow up than what I see today with the lack of physical activity and intense pressure.

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star1009Apr. 23, 12 5:59 AM

News flash - exercise is good for kids. Who would have thunk it. Now bring back recess, gym class, rope climbing, dodgeball etc.

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barbjensApr. 23, 12 6:28 AM

And it took how long to figure that out??? The lack of exercise leads to Obesity which can lead to just sitting around and becoming "lazy" not only in body but mentally also.

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storhoff69Apr. 23, 12 6:42 AM

It took a study to figure this out? PE and sports are the greatest things at this age group. It has been known for years. Test scores are being over done and over valued.

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Thumper5316Apr. 23, 12 7:44 AM

How many of the boys on ADHD drugs wouldn't be on drugs if they were given the opportunity during the day to run off their excess energy? Boys NEED the exercise or they bounce off the ceilings and have the attention span of a gnat. That's just the way they are. That a study needed to be done for this is rediculous. Ask any mom of a son (I have three) and they could have told you that for free.

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fursideApr. 23, 12 7:57 AM

The inactivity of kids is a sign of the times. Parents are buying gadgets for their children that not only encourage but require physical inactivity aside from finger movements. The kids with eh coolest gadgets are often the most envied by their peers and that is a reflection of mom and dad. The cost cutting that is being done to the recently defined "enemy of Ahmerka", public education, has been to force cut backs on hours, supervision and entire programs ( this includes art and music)which would allow for more physical activity. We can never go back to the way it use to be (the way it use to be is not necessarily perfect aside from nostalgia); but we can understand that as with many things that are thrown on to public education, physical fitness opportunities for our children (collectively) has a price. The good news is that with a progressive tax policy we have the money as a society to provide and mentor. Good news, the lessened activity of our children has many cultural causes and they are fixable. The question is do we really have the will to invest in them, with funding, values and time? Currently the sales job being done on the public involves these discussions of public education revolve around how to kill it for the good of God and capitalism. That is a simpleminded club being wielded by political hacks; but it has been effective in making the discussion about things other than our children.

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tcatheartApr. 23, 12 8:07 AM

Students don't need more "academic" time in school. They have plenty of that already. They need more activity time. The problem, however, is that in time of shrinking budgets, principals are opting to reduce PE time in favor of academic time, something we know is actually having the opposite of the desired effect.

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mixie7Apr. 23, 12 8:08 AM

Thumper5316 said, "How many of the boys on ADHD drugs wouldn't be on drugs if they were given the opportunity during the day to run off their excess energy?" I completely agree!! I've been saying this for years, and it goes for girls, too. Take them off processed foods and sugar and get them in a sport to start for goodness sake, although I'm sure a handful (just like back in the day) need more help. The thing about this article that's most compelling and "new" for me is not just the "more exercise" message, but exercise of some kind RIGHT before a quiz or test, and doing something WHILE reading, etc. That's so easy, and what a great tip!

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blfikoApr. 23, 12 8:28 AM

Despite what schools know, they still crumble to the demands of parents. Our middle school in the metro suburbs has eliminated phy ed starting next year for those kids that want to only do band and choir. While I am all for promoting the arts, at what expense? Schools are too afraid of "parent demands" despite what they know. Same school - we don't require outside reading for kids anymore because parents don't want their grades impacted because their family is too busy to make an outside reading committment.

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