Combining Movement Activities With Learning Activities

Physical activity as an everyday process is inevitable. Anyway, people who do not have any disabilities are subjected to the necessity of physical activity. The only question is the amount of the activities, i.e. active or passive way of life. This paper aims to discuss the matters of physical activity within students of the schools, taking into consideration the fact, that obesity rates are essentially increased within children because of numerous factors and reasons. Consequently, the amount of physical activity should be essentially increased, and children should have an opportunity to be physically active during their classes. (Blakemore, 2003) Moreover, an active way of life should be encouraged within children, and tips on healthy nutrition should be provided. Consequently, the lessons, if physically inactive, should be combined with physical exercises for kids. This paper aims to prove the use and effectiveness of these innovations.

Despite the increased obesity rates among children, the government is reluctant in innovating new educational programs that will increase the rates of physical activity among children. The well-known program No Child Left Behind presupposes the educational reform through the schools of the USA, nevertheless, it pays little attention to the matters of physical activity, and, as it is stated, it has not still taken its full action, as the decisions and statements of this act are implemented only partly. Following Gadt-Johnson and Price (2000) it should be emphasized that the federal legislation, which is intended to be implemented by the act, just provides the setting of the high standards and measurable goals, for improving the individual outcomes and results of every particular child. Moreover, this act provides the obligation for all the states to elaborate the assessment system of the basic skills, and the federal funding for this project is allocated. Nevertheless, nothing is stated on the matters of the particular importance of the healthy and active way of life within children. Originally, the increased assessment standards will make children dedicate the increased amounts of their time for studies, while lesser time will be left for physical activity and sports. Surely, every state is free to choose various standards and achievement rates, however, the problem of obesity is not paid sufficient attention. (Lindner, 1999)

In the light of this perspective, there is a strong necessity to mention that the educational reform should provide the innovations which touch upon the issues of the increased physical activity, up to obliging all the teachers to provide five-minute breaks for the physical activity and motion within children. (Taras, 2005) The use of such innovations is evident. On the one hand, the kids will be able to relax their brains and adjust them for the further perception and cognition of the information, on the other hand, they will be able to compensate for their inactive ways of life. Trudeau and Shephard (2008, p 7) emphasized the following statement on this matter:

Sport is a very complex phenomenon. There are many cultures within school sports, and any effect on academic achievement is influenced by gender, race, type of sport, type, and level of athletic involvement. White and McTeer suggested that the status of a given sport might influence its effect on academic achievement. Their results showed that high-status sports had a positive influence on English grades but they saw no evidence of an effect of such sports on mathematics grades.

With the push for academics and improving test scores, the need for physical activity in schools and after school becomes much less of a priority. This is the wrong direction for our school districts to move in when obesity has become a worldwide epidemic. (Tremblay and Inman, 2000) A solution needs to be found in which physical activity can become an essential part of the daily lives of our youth. If learning and practicing academic concepts could be combined with physical activities, our educators could be working toward accomplishing two goals at one time. (Lindner, 2002) The problem with this is that it is not the traditional way of educating, and the support is not there for these ideas. If there was proof that physical activities and moving can have major benefits for learning, then this concept could become a new method of educating and improving the health of our youth. (Summerford, 2001)

As for the matters, described in the annotated bibliography, it should be stated that the clinical consequences of physical activity, which is essential for the mental fitness of children and everyone, involved in the mental activities, appear to be sufficient for the increase of the achievements. All the researches reveal the fact of the increased academic performance within those, who are engaged in physical activity. By Maeda and Randall (2003, p. 579), there is a strong necessity to emphasize the following statement:

Despite common knowledge that physical activity is healthful, many Americans do not exercise regularly. Although many of us embark on a regular exercise program at one time or another, few of us sustain our participation. Increasing evidence supports regular physical activity as a means to reduce one’s risk of heart disease, hypertension, and osteoporosis. Even a modest increase in one’s physical activity level can improve one’s health and quality of life.

In the light of this perspective, there is a strong necessity to mention that physical exercises, intended to improve the cognition, reasoning, and perception within children will be able to improve, as physical exercises improve the work of the cardiovascular system, musculoskeletal system, thus increasing the oxygen supply to the brain, which improves the work of the allover neural system. Consequently, the simple rules of physiology work for the good of the allover organism, including mental and physical processes. In the light of this fact, it should be emphasized that the original value of physical exercises is covered in the statement, claiming that exercises should be performed regularly and systematically. Otherwise, the desired effect will not be achieved. Moreover, the perfect physical condition should be maintained constantly. (Pica, 2009)

Finally, there is a strong necessity to emphasize that the health of the contemporary youth can not be regarded as perfect. Moreover, there are serious concerns on the matters of the health of the nation, as the increased rates of obesity and inactive way of life are featuring the lifestyle of the American nation. The fact is that this problem may be solved by encouraging children to live actively and perform active physical activities. The research aimed to confirm the usefulness of the physical activity within schoolchildren, and, following the articles, represented in the annotated bibliography, there is a strong necessity to arrange systematic time sets of physical activity during the classes which require mental activity and presuppose low physical activity. Thus, by the physiological principles, the performance of the brain improves, and children will be able to achieve better results in cognition, perception, and reasoning.

Originally, it is covered in the notion that physical activity helps to change the way of the work of the brain, thus, allowing it to structure the received information, and get the relaxation required for the further mental work. From the perspective of this fact, it should be stated that the physical activity, which is represented as the required innovation in the schools, will not only compensate for the lack of activity within children, thus, making its essential contribution to the matters of the national obesity struggle, but also improve the academic achievements of the children, who will be involved in this program. Consequently, the use of this innovation is inevitable, and it may be regarded as the necessary amendment to the No Child Left Behind act, which pays little attention to the issues of obesity within children of school age.

Taking into consideration the fact, that lots of research papers are dedicated to the issues, which are regarded in this paper, it should be stated that the topic is widely researched in general. Nevertheless, there are essential gaps in the data, required for the final decision and implementation of the innovation. These are the length of the physical activity break, the time, when it should be arranged, what exercises it should entail, what are the possible drawbacks of this innovation, and whether teachers will require additional qualifications for arranging such breaks. The fact is that this data will be defined by practical experiments, and researches focused on these particular issues. In the light of this perspective, it should be emphasized that further researches should use the methods of live study: surveys, questionnaires, interviews, etc. The researches should be arranged within both kids and teachers, and also within the parents of the children for defining the original lifestyle of the children, and defining the required set of exercises for every particular group of children. Moreover, the exercises should be also defined from the perspective of better improvement of the work of the brain.

Another factor, which requires further detailed research is the factual and measurable success of the innovation. Thus, after the pilot project is implemented in several schools, the average success of the children should be measured and calculated. This should entail both the academic performance and fitness of the kids.

Annotated bibliography

Blakemore C.L. Movement Is Essential to Learning. The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, Vol. 74, 2003.

The author of this research provides the research on the matters of particular physical activity, such as dancing or yoga, and its influence on the allover fitness of a person, mood, workability, and successfulness of the performed tasks. The fact is that relaxing physical activity provides the necessary relaxation for the brain, thus, decreasing its overloading, and providing the necessary structuring of the obtained information. Thus, logical reasoning, calculation abilities, and even abstract reasoning improve.

Get-Johnson C, Price GE. Comparing Students With High and Low Preferences For Tactile Learning. Education. 2000;120(3):581.

The authors of the article aim to confirm the differences between the groups of students, one of which are the students of tactile learning environment, while the others are those who do not prefer a tactile learning environment. A particular emphasis was made on the issues of physical activity, which was aimed at discussing the matters of the increased levels of perception and cognition within students, who were engaged in the physical activities.

Lindner, K. J. Sport Participation and Perceived Academic Performance of School Children and Youth. Pediatric Exercise Science, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p. 129. 1999,

This article is generally aimed at emphasizing the relations between physical activity and academic achievement, which has been the subject of research and speculation for many decades. The negative side suggests that sport involvement is detrimental to academic performance, such as “energy drain”, or time taken away from studying. Counter arguments, which author gives to this, are that energy may be derived from being physically active and consequent improvement in fitness. Thus, the matters of physical activity appear to be of particular importance and effectiveness within the matters of cognition and perception.

Lindner, K. J. The Physical Activity Participation–Academic Performance Relationship Revisited: Perceived and Actual Performance and the Effect of Banding. Pediatric Exercise Science, Vol. 14 Issue 2, p. 155. 2002.

The main claim, which is emphasized by the author is that “people with certain attributes will be good at sport, are attracted to an active lifestyle and perform well in school”, while the hypothesis, which is aimed at opposing the first one proposes that “academically good students are permitted by parents to participate, whereas poor students are prohibited from participation.” The method of this research study involved secondary schools in Hong Kong Department of Education

Maeda J. K., Randall L. M. Can Academic Success Come from Five Minutes of Physical Activity? Brock Education Vol. 13, No. 1, 2003.

The main claim of the article is covered in the fact that physical activity is useful not only for the physical, but also for the mental fitness of any human. The research data, which is analyzed in the article confirms the fact, that those students who are physically active show better results in math studies, and everything, which is associated with calculation. Thus, even short physical activity – five minutes every day – will help to improve the mental activity of the brain, improve cognition and perception.

Pica, R. Active Learning & Creativity. Moving and Learning.com. 2009. Web.

The aim of this article is to link the concepts of children’s studies and their physical activity. Originally, physically active children are regarded to be more talented than their inactive mates. Nevertheless, to keep their attention is a difficult task, as lots of their energy is spent on this activity. The main claim of the research is focused on the matters of physical activity within children and their creativity, as well as perception of the world, cognitive abilities and reasoning.

Sallis J.F. McKenzie T.l. Rosengard, P. Effects of Health-Related Physical Education on Academic Achievement: project SPARK.

The use of physical activity was confirmed by the experiment, which involved up to 760 children, who participated in physical activity, combined with academic studies and standard learning program. The tests revealed the fact, that children, who were engaged in the process of combined learning showed better results during the metropolitan test. Various specialists controlled the achievements and fitness of the children, and concluded that physically active children are more effective at their studies, as well as academic performance.

Soviero B. Art and Physical Education. Incredible Art Lessons. 2009. Web.

If all the previously described articles touch upon the issues of the link between physical activity and logical performance of the students, this research is dedicated to the matters of association of the arts and physical activity. The research is aimed at confirming the fact, that students of the art departments perform more creative approach towards their work, and offer fresh opinions and visions more often than those, who are physically inactive.

Summerford, C. What is the Impact of Exercise on Brain Function for Academic Learning. Teaching Elementary Physical Education, Vol. 12 Issue 3, 2001.

Originally, the paper focuses on the matters of cognition, perception of the academic information and physical activity. The aim of the paper is to define, whether the physical activity actually accelerate cognition. The methods, which are used for researching this issue is comparing two groups of sixth graders: one group was involved into the physical activity, while the others stayed inactive. Thus, the results of their academic success and physical form were compared, and, in accordance with the final results, students, who were more active, showed better results in their cognition and perception.

Taras, H. Physical Activity and Student Performance at School. Journal of School Health, Vol. 75, No. 6 2005.

Another article, the which is aimed at confirming the use of the physical activity for the logical performance of the brain, cognition and calculation. The author emphasizes the particular importance of physical activity in schools and academic settings in general, and claims, that short physical activity every day will be able to improve the fitness of the students, reduce the obesity rates and improve the academic performance of those, who are engaged in the physical activity.

Tremblay, M. S., Inman, J., Willms, J. D. The Relationship Between Physical Activity, Self-Esteem, and Academic Achievement in 12-Year-Old Children. Pediatric Exercise Science, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p. 312. 2000.

Originally, it is stated that participation in regular physical activity improves health, strengthens cardiovascular function, and reduces the risk of developing diabetes, hypertension and positively influences the processes, associated with nutrition and digestion. The authors of the article emphasize the fact that spending time during school hours on physical activity inhibits children’s chances of success in academic pursuits.

Trudeau F., Shephard, R. Physical education, school physical activity, school sports and academic performance. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity. vol 5., no.10, 2008.

The aim of this paper is to research o the matters of relations between academic performance and some of its determinants to participation in school-based physical activities, including physical education, free school physical activity and school sports. Thus, the authors of the paper represent the innovative differentiated approach towards the matters of physical activity in school, offering the differentiated research of various physical activities.