Learn to Move, Move to Learn

REHAB INSIDER • January 2017 Vol.1 No.1

children entering schools who are overweight or obese, there is greater difficulty on the playground and during physical education class. Having low aerobic fitness and being obese has also been associated with poorer performance on standardized test scores in fifth, seventh and ninth-grade schoolchildren.1 Even children as young as pre-school with higher aerobic fitness levels and motor skills demonstrated better memory skills and/or attention.2 With the childhood obesity epidemic, coupled with a predilection for sedentary learning, it’s even more important to help teachers incorporate movement throughout the school day. Researchers of Kenyan children who move while they learn proposed making time within curricula to include movement as free play, but also as a method for Learn to Move, Move to Learn P Group learning activities leverage the brain-building advantages of physical play school-based therapy hysical therapists are movement specialists, and in the school setting, they not only help children navigate their school environment, but are expected to help them access their curriculum as well. Additionally, physical therapists should also be champions for the physical well-being of all students in the school setting. The obesity epidemic is wreaking havoc on gross-motor development, and with more 15 Julie Toney, PT, MPH, PhD Julie Toney is a pre-school physical therapist for Toledo (Ohio) Public Schools. Contact: jtoney@tps.org. LAURIE GOMBASH, pt, MED Laurie Gombash is a physical therapist at Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center and creator of the ABC’s of Movement, designed to help students connect literacy to motor skills. Contact: lgombash@nwoesc.org ABOVE PHOTOS Holding a crab position during a teacher-led question-and-answer session is a fun way to incorporate movement during learning activities. Inset photo: the Lucky Ducks game reinforces academic skills such as matching and memory, but can also be used in obstacle course and hideand seek activities for higher-level developmental skill-building. credit/Julie Toney JANUARY 2017  |  REHAB INSIDER


REHAB INSIDER • January 2017 Vol.1 No.1
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