Class bells are ringing across the country signaling that another school year has started. As kids hit the books, PE4life is hoping that results from its Learning Readiness PE (LRPE) class will entice more academic institutions to look at the merits of physical exercise on academic performance.
At the PE4life Academy site at Naperville Central High School in Illinois, the non-profit implemented the LRPE class and said it helped facilitate dramatic improvements in students' reading and math scores. Students voluntarily took the 7:45 a.m. physical education class before attending their regular reading and math classes. They rotated stations every 15 or 20 minutes and had exercise balls for seats. While working out, the kids watched a video of the book they were reading in their literacy class.
In one semester, those participating in the LRPE class from PE4Life (www.pe4life.com) improved their reading and comprehension scores by 50 percent more than those students in the study who took the literacy class alone. Additionally, the students who took LRPE before math class increased their algebra readiness by an average of 20 percent compared to 2 percent in the students without LRPE.
"The problem is that 'No Child Left Behind' is getting administrators to think that more seat time is better for education," said Paul Zientarski, chairman of the school's health and physical education department, in a statement. "And actually now we have proof that's not true. It's about preparation, getting your body ready to learn through physical activity -- this is the way to increase test scores."
SNEWS® View: More proof that lobbying for regular school physical education time is something that the fitness industry -- and anyone interested in a healthy, fit public -- should pay attention to. And that those suppliers of fitness equipment and accessories could at least in their local communities consider getting involved with area schools.