Sedentary Schooling and the Effects on Learning and Physical Health

The Muse – Jacqueline Mills

The Lancet recently published a study which found the number of obese children and adolescents worldwide has increased ten-fold over the past 40 years. It is clear that some sort of intervention is necessary to counter this alarming trend. Although there have been changes in schools to accommodate such exceptionalities, such as having yoga balls in lieu of chairs in classrooms, the school day for elementary students is based largely on a model of sedentary learning. It is not just overweight children who require more movement throughout the school day, all children could benefit from more activity. Children are expected to sit and learn for 90-120 minutes at a time. Most schools throughout Canada are required to incorporate 20 minutes of daily physical activity into their curriculum. Twenty minutes of physical activity during the school day falls well short of the 60 minutes recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (more)

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