Just four minutes of activity can improve behavior in kids

Just four minutes of activity can improve behavior in kids
Just four minutes of activity can improve behavior in kids

There has been heightening concerns about the cascade of misdiagnoses of mental disorders of kids such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) with prescriptions of dangerous drugs such as ritalin by psychiatrists. Natural interventions for the prevention and treatment of the mental state of kids are therefore clearly preferable in the best interest of the mental health of kids. Queen’s Gazette reported that fun and games makes for better learners.

According to new research by Brendon Gurd just four minutes of physical activity can improve behavior in the classroom for primary school kids. It has been observed that a very brief, high-intensity interval exercise, or what has been called a FUNterval, for students in second and fourth grade lowered off-task behaviors such as fidgeting or inattentiveness in the classroom. Dr. Gurd, the lead researcher and a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University has expressed a keen interest in what effects a brief exercise bout could have in the classroom setting.

In this study students were taught a class during which time they were then given an active break. During this time the the students would learn about different aspects of healthy living on alternating days for a few weeks. Instances of off-task behavior were recorded by classroom observers after each break. It was observed that when a four minute FUNterval was completed during a break from class there was not as much off-task behavior observed in the 50 minutes which followed the break than if the students completed a non-active break.

This study has been published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. The study examined what effects an acute bout of brief, high-intensity interval exercise had on off-task classroom behavior in primary school kids. The data demonstrated that very brief high-intensity bouts of exercise may improve off-task behavior in students, particularly in students who have high rates of such behavior. So it seems like a good idea to keep kids active as much as possible, even for short periods of time, to keep them healthy and performing well in school.


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