Research has indicated that:
- Regular physical activity enhances academic performance
Regular physical activity improves children's mental health and contributes to their growth and development.
- Increasing participation in physical activity can decrease a student's study time their academic performance is maintained as their level of physical activity increases. 1
- When more time is dedicated to physical education, academic performance does not suffer.1,2,3,4
- Learning appears to occur more rapidly in the classroom when more curricular time (14-26%) is devoted to physical activity. 1
- Physical activity has been shown to increase concentration levels in students.5
- Physical activity has a positive affect upon children's academic achievement, academic readiness, and perceptual skills.6
The prevalence of childhood obesity is increasing - this is directly linked to a lack of physical activity. Both obesity and inactivity are modifiable risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
- Physical activity is consistently related to improved self-esteem and body image.4,7,8
- Adolescents who engage regularly in physical activity demonstrate lower anxiety and depression.7
- As depression levels in young people decrease their physical activity typically increase.9
- Students with poor mental health are at risk of developing neck and upper limb pain.10
Daily physical activity improves children's skeletal health, which in turn reduces their risk of developing osteoporosis in the future
- 33% of 7- to 13-year-old males in Canada are overweight; an additional 10% are considered obese.11
- 27% and 9% of young females in Canada are overweight and obese respectively.11
- The prevalence of overweight and obesity in Canadian young people appears to be on the rise.11, 12
- Obesity in childhood is related to obesity in adulthood.3, 12
- Overweight and obesity in childhood are linked to many health risks and even mortality in adulthood.13
- There is evidence to suggest that obesity is related to physical inactivity.14
- Participation in physical activity is positively linked to aerobic fitness, body composition, and muscular strength among schoolchildren.15
It is important to educate, encourage and motivate children to participate in regular physical activity because the habits they establish in childhood carry over to adulthood.21 Participation in regular physical activity has a positive impact on behaviour and healthy lifestyles in youth.
- It has been shown that osteoporosis originates early in life and bone mass development in childhood and adolescents influences the risk for bone fractures.16
- Daily physical activity in adolescence and young adulthood is positively related to bone mineral density in adulthood.17, 18
- 9 to 13-year-old boys and girls with higher physical activity levels also have greater bone mineral content and bone mineral density compared to their less active counterparts.19
- Physical activity, particularly weight-bearing exercise, improves bone mass in pre-pubertal children (ages 5-10).20
- Physical activity in childhood and adolescence plays a vital role in optimizing peak bone mass and might reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life.18
A comprehensive, school-based intervention can influence the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of young people.
- Female high school students, who are physically active, are less likely to smoke, use marijuana, or engage in sexual risk behaviours when compared to inactive peers.22
- Male high school students who participate in sports are less likely to use tobacco and illegal drugs or engage in sexual risk behaviours when compared to students who do not participate in sport activities.23
- Adolescents who are more physical active are less likely to consume alcohol.24
The following are benefits that teachers and students have shared with in motion:
- "Students were encouraging their parents to become more physically active and to participate with them!"
- "Students kept teachers honest by insisting on 30 minutes of activity each day. Otherwise, students felt shortchanged."
- "the school morning walk gets our day off to a nice inviting start"
- "The school morning walk gets our day off to a nice inviting start."
- "Teachers learned what activities worked to settle the class down following our morning walk and then the rest of the morning was more productive then in the past."
- "Morning walks actually improved punctuality and attendance among students."
- "We noticed less discipline problems in some of the participating classrooms."