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Physical activity may strengthen children's ability to pay attention
Date:3/31/2009

g comprehension first, leading him to speculate that too much time may have elapsed between the physical activity and the testing period for those subjects.

"Future attempts will definitely look at the timing," he said. Subsequent testing also will introduce other forms of physical-activity testing.

"Treadmills are great," Hillman said. "But kids don't walk on treadmills, so it's not an externally valid form of exercise for most children. We currently have an ongoing project that is looking at treadmill walking at the same intensity relative to a Wii Fit game which is a way in which kids really do exercise."

Still, given the preliminary study's positive outcomes on the flanker task, ERP data and academic testing, study co-author Darla Castelli believes these early findings could be used to inform useful curricular changes.

"Modifications are very easy to integrate," Castelli said. For example, she recommends that schools make outside playground facilities accessible before and after school.

"If this is not feasible because of safety issues, then a school-wide assembly containing a brief bout of physical activity is a possible way to begin each day," she said. "Some schools are using the Intranet or internal TV channels to broadcast physical activity sessions that can be completed in each classroom."

Among Castelli's other recommendations for school personnel interested in integrating physical activity into the curriculum:

  • scheduling outdoor recess as a part of each school day;

  • offering formal physical education 150 minutes per week at the elementary level, 225 minutes at the secondary level;

  • encouraging classroom teachers to integrate physical activity into learning.

An example of how physical movement could be introduced into an actual lesson would be "when reading poetry (about nature or the change of seasons), students could act like falling leaves," s
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Contact: Melissa Mitchell
melissa@illinois.edu
217-333-5491
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3 4

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