Before-School Physical Activity Can Enhance Readiness to Learn
December 3, 2015
Findings from a three-year study of a before-school physical activity program "strengthen the argument that physical activity can position children to be more ready and alert for learning experiences."
The study, by Georgia Hall, Kristen Fay Poston, and Stephanie Harris of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time, concluded that children in the Build Our Kids Success (BOKS) program in Natick, Mass., public schools "did experience greater increases in some executive functions than did a comparison group of non-participating children." Those functions that were correlated with BOKS activity in this study, working memory and the ability to shift between tasks, "enable children to hold information, complete tasks, carry out instructions, and transition from one task to another. These clearly are important skills for success in elementary school.... Our research on BOKS suggests that participation is associated with enhanced readiness to learn."