Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
Pay attention parents. Do not stop children from playing outdoors. In fact, fix a time for them and send your children out every day to play.
Yes, you are reading right. Physical activity boosts kids’ brain power and academic prowess.
There are enough researches done on the issue. And all of these prove that students need adequate amounts of physical activity throughout the school day. It not only prevents obesity and obesity-related issues, but also helps them perform better academically. The latest report has come from the Institute of Medicine, a unit of the National Academy of Sciences, Washington DC. It states that exercise can significantly improve children’s cognitive abilities and their academic performance, as well as their health.
Experts say that all students must get at least 60 minutes a day of vigorous or moderate physical activity, equivalent to a brisk walk.
Students who are involved in physical activities have lower body fat, greater muscular strength, and better cardiovascular and mental health. Children who are more active are better able to focus their attention, are quicker to perform simple tasks, and have better working memories and problem solving skills than less-active children.
Schools and teachers also have an important role to play here. Schools must have at least one games period a day. And the sports teachers must see to it that all children are out in the field during this.
I remember when I was in school at KV Udhampur (J&K), our sports teachers, Mr Sube Singh and Mr Ashwani Kumar, were very strict on this account. I was never into sports but still they made sure that me and my equally uninterested friends actually played during games period. We began with the humble stapu and soon graduated to playing kho-kho and dodge ball. Though in the beginning we detested these teachers for forcing us, we soon started looking forward to playing.
It is sad that many schools these days do not lay enough stress on this. Although almost all schools have their own sports academies, it is only exceptional sports persons who are trained, no one pays attention to children who do not play, who just remain sitting in the class or are roaming leisurely in the playground during games period.
It’s time that physical activity becomes a core educational concern, not a dispensable option.