Kids who are physically active get better grades and do better on tests than those who are not active. Research shows that during preschool and elementary school years, active play not only improves physical agility and coordination, but it also enhances academic success. As students enter adolescence, physical activity helps the child take on new intellectual, social and emotional challenges.
Physical activity also helps reduce the risk for developing obesity and chronic disease. This is important since more than one-third of children and teens are overweight or obese.
Moving More at School
The National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity encourages schools and school districts to adopt and implement wellness policies that offer all students in grades K-12 opportunities, support, and encouragement to be physically active on a regular basis.
Strategies to improve physical activity in schools:
- Provide daily physical education for all students
- Provide daily recess for all elementary school students
- Offer physical activity opportunities before and after school
- Avoid using physical activity as punishment
- Promote safe walking and bicycling to school
- Encourage use of school facilities outside of school hours
“I am Moving I am Learning” Program for Preschool
I Am Moving, I Am Learning (IMIL) is a program designed and tested by Head Start to reduce childhood obesity in children. IMIL seeks to increase daily moderate to vigorous physical activity, improve the quality of movement activities, and promote healthy food choices every day.