What Makes Early Morning Physical Activity Helpful for Students?
Several schools across the country have adopted early morning physical education classes in order to assist students with learning. In Naperville, Illinois, District 203 has been conducting a Learning Readiness Physical Education program for years. Their approach has received national attention because of the positive impact it has had on literacy scores. More and more evidence points to the reasons why this intervention is so successful. Primarily, when students are introduced to an early regiment of exercise, they become more focused and ready to learn due, in part, to an increased oxygen flow to the brain combined with an increase in neurotransmitters.
The other side benefit of exercising in the morning is that it improves mood, lowers aggression, and increases attention. What is beneficial in introducing exercise as a part of a student’s preparation for learning is making sure that what the students engage in triggers their attention system. Fitness Gaming is an excellent tool because it provides immediate feedback, is a challenge leveled to the individual’s skill set, is pleasurable to the brain, and is motivational so kids stay with the routine more easily.
Today’s students enjoy and are motivated by video games. Fitness Gaming blends their interest in this medium and, at the same time, engages students with unique and exciting workouts. As more is known, we expect schools to embrace the concept of exercising before instruction.
Products like the Lu Interactive Learning System have transformed 1,000’s of schools and after-school programs into an immersive and interactive learning environment based on movement.
The Lu Interactive design and innovation team works with researchers to develop applications that fall within The Whole Child Matrix for school age kids. The matrix contains 60 skills grouped into three main categories.
- Social and cognitive development
- Physical and motor development
- Academic development
In a recent example at a school, we found duel benefits to utilizing Fitness Games as the medium for exercise. They chose one of the most unfocused and often disruptive students and introduced him to a new Fitness Game lab we implemented at the school. What resulted was an increase in motivation by simply working to receive Fitness Game lab time. The teacher set expectations for the morning. When the student achieved those goals, he received, as a reward, extra time in the lab. The teacher commented that it was the most leverage she ever had on motivating this student’s behavior. He enjoyed the lab so much that he worked harder than he ever had about following directions and completing assignments.
The other benefit was derived from the physiological effects of the exercise. The teacher said that, when he returned from his workout, he was more calm and successful in the class. He now was benefiting from increased dopamine and serotonin to the brain which helped regulate his mood and aggression as well as activating his attention system. Fitness Gaming provided a huge motivational tool and also created a more focused student. The teacher was so pleased with the results that she has become a strong advocate for using the Axtion Fitness Game lab as an intervention for kids.
Lab based products are often on a smaller scale than the Lu Interactive. These products are focused on movement, focus, hand-eye-foot coordination, and can be used for a variety of applications.
The lab may be used as a Sensory Lab, Occupational Therapy, Special Education, ADHD room, Brain Break, etc.
LU Interactive Gym Playground
Lü is an interactive playground that uses lights, sounds and video to transform any gym into an engaging, immersive video game. Lü engages users with captivating activities that transform learning into a fun, social and active experience.
FunTable & FunBoard
Interactive game table for kids. Loaded with content: Education, Learning, Memory, Creativity and Teamwork. Play together to point, draw, click around and search for information.
Multi-functional fitness, sports, performance and therapy touch wall provides a fantastic movement based workout across numerous applications.
Sport Games / Dance & Step Games
Supports up to 32 users! Perfect for groups, with engaging music and arcade games. Features a high performance platform with the latest in wireless technology for game play.
The Senaptec Swift Touch is a large portable LED button board with a central screen designed to train several sensory and motor skills including eye hand coordination, reaction time, visual memory, and split attention.
Like other vigorous physical activities, fitness gaming / active gaming is known to improve academic performance among students by building new neurological connections that enhance memory, learning and critical thinking. Improve a number of factors that are vital to children’s academic performance, including their attention capacity, problem solving skills, pattern recognition, task switching ability...
- Edwin Kasanders