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New Study Examines the Effects of Daily In-classroom Workouts on Elementary School Students

Source: American Council on Exercise (ACE)

Classroom exercise videos could be powerful tool to combat childhood inactivity-related diseases and may improve in-class behavior

San Diego, August 22, 2017 — Despite recommendations that all children between the ages of 6 and 17 get at least one hour of physical activity every day, budget cuts have forced some schools to reduce or altogether eliminate formal physical education programs. This leaves many children without the opportunity to get enough physical activity or the knowledge of how to exercise safely and effectively. With a mission to get people moving, the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the world’s leading health and fitness nonprofit, sponsored an independent study to determine if using short exercise videos in elementary school classrooms would be a cost-effective solution to help introduce more physical activity into schools.

The study, supported by ACE and performed by Dr. Leon Greene at the University of Kansas’ Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Sciences, involved 16 teachers and more than 400 students in second, third, fourth and fifth grades. Physical education teachers helped the researchers design eight exercise videos with the tone, language and skill level appropriate to each age group. Teachers had students exercise with the videos up to twice a day for one month. Data showed participating students reached a moderate level of exercise intensity, the equivalent of a brisk walk or slow jog, during each ten-minute video.

The results? After four weeks of up to two video exercise sessions per day, students were more active and better behaved. Furthermore, the students loved the quick exercise breaks and many of the teachers found participation to be enjoyable.

“It’s important for children to develop a positive relationship to movement and physical activity while they’re young. This will make it much less challenging to incorporate movement into their lifestyle as an adult,” says American Council on Exercise Chief Science Officer Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D. “These videos could be a powerful tool to both getting kids moving now and keeping them moving throughout their lives. They are low-cost and easy-to-administer, which means these videos could help shift the traditionally sedentary classrooms toward becoming more dynamic settings. Emerging research suggest a strong positive link exists between movement and improved academic performance.”

In addition to being cost-effective, the videos were fun and engaging. One hundred percent of participating teachers reported that students enjoyed the exercise videos, that the videos were easy to incorporate into their lessons and that they could envision themselves using the videos over the long-term. Fifteen out of sixteen teachers felt that classroom behavior improved after each session.

According to ACE, results of this study indicate the great potential that exercise videos offer as a tool to build a new culture of movement in the classroom and dismantle the idea that physical activity is a separate entity from other parts of life, including education and work.

One in five children in the U.S. in obese,” says Bryant. “Daily movement will help lead kids to better health and enhanced learning ability. When kids grow up with the idea that movement is an integral aspect of all parts of life, we can start shifting the tide on the global epidemic of preventable inactivity-related diseases. That means a world of healthier and happier lives.”

To view the complete study, please click here.

About ACE

With a mission to get people moving, the nonprofit organization American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies and represents more than 70,000 currently certified fitness professionals, health coaches and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly qualified professionals ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the leading certifier in its space and all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the United States for accreditation of certifications that assess professional competence. ACE also plays an important public-service role, conducting and providing science-based research and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.

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