As 2017 is upon us, New Years resolutions are underway and often consist of eating better and exercising regularly. Gym class may be more important than originally thought for students, as exercise is especially important for those trying to focus in the classroom.
Anthony Folino, Child Psychologist with the Thames Valley District School Board, has successfully been running an exercise program for children with mental health challenges to allow them to be at their optimal in the classroom.
The program has been in effect for almost a year now, with Folino already seeing vast improvements in his participating pupils.
“What I’ve recognized is that for a number of our students, often times the best conversations that I’m able to have with them are those moments following exercise,” says Folino, “We have students who are more on task, more compliant to teachers requests, and engaging in less disruptive behaviors. If you put those factors together, it puts students in a much more desirable state to benefit from teaching.”
Folino’s research shows that 30 minutes of moderate physical exercise led to about 90 minutes of reduced aggression and enhanced focus in the classroom.
He adds that methods of success vary for each child, depending on their mental health challenges and personal interests.