Why Movement is so Important for Kids
Is back-to-school season really right around the corner again? Having passed the midway point in August, before we know it kids will be back running through the halls of schools and settling in for another year of learning.
With that in mind, we thought we would take some time to reflect on the importance of movement and physical activity for young children. With kids spending the majority of their days in the classroom, there’s no better place to implement activity that will set children up for a healthy lifestyle. There are so many benefits to encouraging movement in young children; take a look at a few of them below.
Improves Physical Health
Okay, so this one is obvious. Just like for adults, integrating regular movement into the days of children can have hugely positive effects on their physical health. Some of the impacts that regular activity and movement can have on children’s health include the following:
- Improved cardiovascular health (keeping kids heart-healthy and promoting better circulation)
- Weight control
- Strengthening bones and joints
- Toning and building muscles
- Improved posture and reduced back or neck problems
These days it is becoming more and more common for kids to stay indoors and engage in sedentary activities (things like watching TV or playing video games). With these times combined with long hours spent in the classroom, kids end up spending the majority of their time sitting and miss out on the key physical benefits mentioned above. Encouraging regular movement ensures that your kids will be in the best health that they can be.
Improves Overall Learning
This is a big one that often gets overlooked. Many studies show that integrating movement into the classroom greatly improves the learning environment, and this is true for several reasons.
First, movement has been shown to increase focus, concentration and attention for children while learning. Kids (especially young ones) can often be little balls of energy, constantly bouncing off the walls and ready for the next activity. By encouraging movement in the learning process, children can release some of that extra energy in a non-disruptive, productive way and instead focus on the task at hand.
Movement has also been tied to brain development in general and can greatly aid children in learning social skills and fine motor skills. Long story short, movement is highly recommended to help kids learn the key competencies they need to be successful.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Mental health can also benefit from regular activity. We often assume that children are care-free and don’t experience mental health concerns such as anxiety or depression, but sadly that is not the case. That being said, regular movement releases endorphins, which in turn have been linked to improved mood and reduced stress levels. Furthermore, engaging in similar, repetitive motions can often be soothing for kids who suffer from panic attacks or learning disabilities. By encouraging greater activity in the classroom, students are set up to cope better with the stresses of schoolwork.
Encourages Healthy Habits that will Continue into Adulthood
Finally, by making movement a priority at a young age, kids will learn valuable habits that will continue into adulthood. Kids in primary school are at an impressionable age, so by teaching them the importance of health and incorporating activity into their day, you’re setting them up for success in the future. Being a role model for activity and giving them tangible strategies for a healthy lifestyle will stick with them into the years when they start to make their own decisions. Remember, healthy kids mean healthy adults in the future.
With so many obvious benefits to integrating movement at a young age, it’s a no brainer to implement ways to move in the classroom. Fitneff carries a wide range of products that can make the classroom more active, improving kids’ physical health, mental health and learning environment. Check them out today!