Young people have a problem
At school, on the bus, in front of your mobile phone, tablet and at the dinner table. Children and young people spend 70-80% of their waking hours sitting and only three out of ten children and young people in Sweden are sufficiently active, see more under Research & Facts. There are consequences. Muscles and bones become weaker. Fewer new neurons are formed and connected in the brain. The risk of serious diseases later in life increases. Our metabolism decreases and we gain weight more easily.
Long periods of sitting at school have immediate consequences. Oxygenation of the brain slows down and concentration is lost. The brain’s happiness hormones slow down and our stress hormones have no natural (physical) outlet. Studies have shown that more physical activity and movement can increase learning by up to 50%.
Thus, from a learning perspective, not only student health, but also learning capacity and the classroom environment are affected by ‘seizure disorder’.
Schools can break the seizure disorder
Of course, sedentary behavior is not just a school problem, but since all children are in school, it is an equal and central arena for achieving broad change and creating new habits. And according to the curriculum, primary schools should aim to provide daily physical activity for all pupils. If seizure disorder is tackled at school, it is less likely to be transferred to future workplaces. This benefits society in the long run.
Active classrooms on the schedule
In addition to encouraging more movement during breaks and after school, and introducing more PE lessons, schools can work with active classrooms. For example, offering students height-adjustable tables so they can stand up and change their working position. If students also stand on a mat that stimulates muscle activity, the effect is even greater. An active classroom may also have a movement corner where students can raise their heart rate, release stress hormones and regain concentration.
Furthermore, the teacher can incorporate physical activity into the lesson, for example by having students write their answers on the board or taking the math lesson outdoors. More active classroom tips can be found here. You can read more about what the research says here.