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Less Movement = Harder to Read for Boys


The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport published research on the association of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time (ST) with reading and arithmetic skills in 89 boys and 69 girls aged 6–8 years.  MVPA and ST were assessed by monitoring heart rate, using a movement sensor and measuring body fat percentage.  Reading fluency, reading comprehension, and arithmetic skills were evaluated using standardized tests in Grades 1–3.  Data analysis revealed the following:

  • for boys, MVPA was directly and ST inversely associated with reading fluency in Grades 1–3 and arithmetic skills in Grade 1.
  • for boys. higher levels of MVPA were also related to better reading comprehension in Grade 1.
  • for boys, a combination of lower levels of MVPA and higher levels of ST had consistently poorer reading fluency and reading comprehension across Grades 1–3.
  •  for girls, ST was directly associated with arithmetic skills in Grade 2. However, this relationship of ST with arithmetic skills was no longer significant after adjustment for body fat percentage.

The researchers concluded that lower levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity, higher levels of sedentary time, and particularly the combination of the two, were related to poorer reading skills in boys.

Reference:  Haapala, Eero A., et al. “Physical activity and sedentary time in relation to academic achievement in children.” Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport (2016). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2016.11.003

Mini Movements Brain Breaks from http://yourtherapysource.com/minimove.html

Mini Movement Breaks  This download is a collection of 60+ quick sensory motor activity cards. The mini movement breaks are quick and require no equipment. The movement breaks can be done indoors. Most of the movement breaks can be done with one child or a group of children. It does not get any easier than this to encourage sensory motor activities in the classroom or home.  Find out more information.