As summer wanes and back-to-school season approaches, kids may be cringing at the thought of getting back to long stretches at a school desk. But can the school environment actually help kids increase their activity level? A new study published in Preventive Medicine suggests it can.
The study on 1,100 elementary and middle school students measured the effectiveness of a government program called HEROES, which was developed to increase physical activity during the school day.
The schools restructured their physical activity classes to focus more on movement than sports to ramp up active participation. Some schools added ten-minute bursts of physical activity into regular classroom time. Nearly all participating schools started before-school or after-school walking programs, adding another 15-20 active minutes to the school day.