University of Michigan researchers say short bursts of in-classroom activity can trim childhood obesity rates. Source >
"What we're showing is that we can give kids an additional 16 minutes of health-enhancing physical activity," said lead investigator Rebecca Hasson, an associate professor of kinesiology and nutritional sciences. We're trying to create a culture of health throughout the entire school day, not just in the gym."
The study showed that when given high-intensity activity breaks, the kids burned an additional 150 calories a day and didn't overeat to compensate for the increased physical activity.
The Lingering After Effects of Exercise
The screen-time breaks triggered more notable improvement in the students' moods but both types of breaks resulted in good moods. The children also rated the activity breaks as more fun than the screen time.
The activity breaks also had a lingering positive effect on the moods of overweight or obese students, the study authors noted. This may mean they got more gratification from this extra exercise.
The researchers also said taking time out for movement did not alter the students' class performance.
"Teachers were worried it would make kids rowdier, but 99 percent of kids were back on task within 30 seconds of doing activity breaks," Hasson said. "We even had one teacher who did an activity break in the middle of a maths exam."
Ryan Williamson is a gymnastics and movement expert.