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Get Moving at School!

Kids are active, naturally. Not only do they get great joy and happiness from physical activity, their work is to play — both actively and imaginatively. Children need activity for their growing minds and bodies. Finding ways for schools to encourage and support children’s love of physical activity is a win — win for everyone. Research shows that physical activity improves academic performance and behavior. Further, children who are active early in life have an increased chance of being active, and healthy, throughout their lives.


“The reality is with most kids, if we don’t get them active at an early age, they’re probably not going to be active as adults. We know that physical activity tracks and physically inactive kids become physically inactive adults.” Dr. Aaron Beighle, Associate Professor of Kinesiology and Health Promotion, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Ky.

Daily activity is key to children's health and well-being, which are important factors involved in helping kids reach their full academic potential. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends:

  • At least 60 minutes of physical activity each day for children and teens; and,
  • Vigorous activity a minimum of 3 hours per week.

Other factors that can influence children's academic performance and energy include balanced nutrition and adequate sleep of at least 10 to 11 hours per night for children ages 5 to 10.

Check out all of the CDC’s recommended daily physical activity requirements.

Action Tips for Your School

  • Get Moving – Start a Mileage Club® or some type of walking club at your school. Set goals and track your progress by using a map to document how far you walk.
  • Fuel Up Smart – Make sure kids stay energized with plenty of water, nutritional meals and healthy snacks.
  • Keep It Fun – Reward children with physical activity and provide alternatives to competitive sports.
  • Involve Everyone – Hold classroom and school-wide competitions and track progress.