Integrating Physical Activity Into Distance Education


A Texas A&M health and kinesiology professor explains why it's important for kids to stay active while learning from home.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, online lessons and homeschooling are the new normal in education. How does physical activity fit into this new mode of learning?

The Texas A&M University College of Education & Human Development spoke with Hildi Nicksic, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, about why physical activity is important for students during this time.

Q: How does physical activitiy facilitate learning?
A: Most of us are familiar with the physical benefits of activity and exercise, but it is important to remember that being physically active also helps with brain health and cognition. Higher fitness levels, the result of ongoing engagement in physical activity, are associated with higher grades and test scores compared to those with lower fitness levels. On a more immediate basis, physical activity also increases concentration and attention, which directly impacts learning preparedness. Similarly, individuals tend to respond faster and more accurately to questions directly after being physically active. This is particularly true when more complex thinking is required, as physical activity seems to help the brain work more efficiently and effectively.

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