Three Ways to Make Students More Physically Active

kids sitting on chairs

The studies are clear about it: Physical activity significantly boosts academic performance. The statistics are straightforward as well: Almost a third of England’s children population, aged 2 to 15, are obese. While parents are primarily responsible for encouraging healthy lifestyles to kids, teachers and school administrators are equally accountable too. Given that children spend more than half of their waking hours in schools, it’s important that they’re physically active in such settings.

That said, promote physical activity in your school, and that means going beyond your regular physical education programs. Here are ways you can make students more active.

Provide avenues for physical activity

You already have a gym, a basketball court and a football field. These are good facilities for physical activity, but there are far more venue options. For instance, building a bike shelter for your school would encourage children to consider cycling to get to the campus. Adding more recreational gears in your playground, like slides, monkey bars, merry-go-round, playhouses and mazes, would also help improve children’s muscle and bone strength.

Inside classrooms, some schools swap desks for stationary bikes. Others have standing desk stations. This would be a drastic move if you go this route, but it’s worth considering. Be aggressive in promoting the use of these facilities mentioned. No use to having them if students won’t use them. So, encourage until physical activity becomes a culture in your school.

Make exercise a community effort

The reason most kids aren’t into physical activity (when it’s not part of their PE requirements) is that it’s just never the norm. They see their parents and teen siblings working out, but not their peers. Now, you can change that in your school community. Let the children exercise together outside their PE classes. Just for sheer fun.

kids playing

For instance, you can assign walking or biking buddies when children go to and from school. You can also have teachers hold their classes outside classrooms at least twice or thrice, incorporating physical activities in their lessons. Pick a few students from each batch to be part of the core leadership team of health and fitness clubs. Encourage students to join fun run charity events in your local community. All these would solidify the fact that exercise can be fun and ‘cool’ for their age.

Celebrate physical activity

Keep doing your sports events. But make sure they’re inclusive, which means everyone in your student body should participate, not only the sports-inclined pupils. A lot of obese students dread sports weeks, precisely because it highlights their body issues. That’s an unfortunate reality given that they’re the very ones who would need to be more physically active.

So aside from your regular sports competitions, design activities where all children would feel comfortable participating. For instance, have everyone do mazes, hula-hoops or Zumba dances in groups. Give proper acknowledgement to everyone who joined. Aside from awarding at sports events, celebrate the active lifestyle by rewarding the tiny wins, like riding bicycles to schools or achieving a particular number of steps going to the cafeteria.

Physical activity is crucial for the mental and emotional well-being of students. Unfortunately, a lot of kids live sedentary lifestyles, resulting in weight issues. Start the change now and get your students moving with these mentioned tips.