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Thread: Gym Removed from Many School to Make More Time for Academics, but Physical Activity Can Improve Thinking and Reasoning Skills in Children

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    Gym Removed from Many School to Make More Time for Academics, but Physical Activity Can Improve Thinking and Reasoning Skills in Children

    The Case for Recess -- Recess time and gym have been eliminated from many school programs to make more time for academics, but physical activity can improve thinking and reasoning skills in children



    There is growing evidence that physical activity enhances brain function and improves thinking and reasoning skills for children -- and adults. Some studies have also suggested that children perform better in school when they have planned periods of physical activity. This idea stands in contrast to how the pressure to provide more time for academics has eroded opportunities for physical exercise during the school day.

    At a time when gym and recess time have been eliminated from many school programs and after-school sports and playtime have given way to academic support enrichment, more evidence has been needed to shape school policy.

    Past studies have suggested that as physical activity increases school performance and performance on the job improve; but some studies have been inconclusive. With this in mind, a team of researchers recently reviewed 14 studies, 12 from the United States, one from Canada, and one from South Africa. All looked at the relationship between school performance and physical activity.

    The studies were varied in size, duration, and population. The sizes of the study populations ranged from 53 to 12.000 participants, and the age ranged from six through 18 years. The children's physical activity levels and academic achievements were followed for as little as eight weeks to over five years.

    The researchers found evidence that physical activity improves academics. They noted, "Evidence from the studies included in the present systematic review suggests that there is a significant positive relationship between physical activity and academic performance...."

    The researchers offered several possible explanations for the positive effect. It may be that activity increases blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain. It could be that it increases the level of norepinephrine and endorphins, which decreases stress and improves mood, and that the increase in growth factors caused by exercise helps create new nerve cells and supports neurologic development. They also point out that when children participate in sports, they often have better behavior within the classroom and are better able to pay attention to academics.

    This report adds to the growing body of literature that supports the need for an appropriate balance of physical activity and study in the school days of our children. It can be found in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.
    Source http://www.theatlantic.com/health/ar...recess/253549/

    More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese.
    Approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese.

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    Senior Member Wulfhere's Avatar
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    This is exactly the issue addressed here:

    http://sovereignmercia.webs.com/youth.htm

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    This is a travesty. Physical fitness is just as important (absolutely on par) as academic studies. Exercises and sports go hand in hand and kids should be actively engaging in these things to the same extent as they do their book studies.

    One of the reason that we have an obesity epidemic in this country is because exercise and health fitness is reduced to the realm of leisure activities or hobby's to do on the side.

    To hell with that way of thinking! Kids should be introduced and indoctrinated with a healthy and athletic lifestyle from the beginning so that they are likely to continue that life style throughout the remainder of their lives.

    What good is all the academic smarts in the world and 10 different degrees lining your walls if your a fat, obese, person who dying from sugar diabetes or a heart attack before your 40....

    Disturbing to say the least.

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    Senior Member Unity Mitford's Avatar
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    Appalling! Exercise when you are young is the most important, as your vital organs are still developing...

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    Senior Member Neophyte's Avatar
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    When I become Führer the school day will begin with a 3 km jog to clear the head and oxygenate the blood.

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    ^^ Oh yea! Thats just to start with. Then the real fun begins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unity Mitford View Post
    Appalling! Exercise when you are young is the most important, as your vital organs are still developing...
    Some exercise, but excessive workout training such as 'body building' actually stunts ones growth. I know general exercise termed as such is not the same, and I am not arguing in favor of removal of such as the thread topic indicates, but your "most important (while) vital organs still developing" comment brought to the fore in my mind what too much physical exertion does to the developing body (and is detrimental).

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    That is a myth my friend. Plain and simple. One that has been debunked many times.

    I can name TONS of world class athletes that started lifting weights in their early teens and it NEVER stunted their growth in anyway.

    Proper form should be taught, that is a must. I wouldnt recommend young teens to be maxing out at 100 percent on squats and deadlifts, but going maybe 60 to 70 percent would be just fine. If they can bang out a set of 10, then the weight is just fine.

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    Senior Member Unity Mitford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagelfar View Post
    Some exercise, but excessive workout training such as 'body building' actually stunts ones growth. I know general exercise termed as such is not the same, and I am not arguing in favor of removal of such as the thread topic indicates, but your "most important (while) vital organs still developing" comment brought to the fore in my mind what too much physical exertion does to the developing body (and is detrimental).
    I doubt 'body building' was ever part of PE

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    Senior Member Bo's Avatar
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    No physical fitness at school is the last thing Americans need; the number of fat and out-of-shape folks in the U.S. is out of contol, especially the kids. I can imagine what they'll be like within 10 years and it isn't good.

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