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The Learning Connection: The Value of School Wellness.

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Presentation on theme: "The Learning Connection: The Value of School Wellness."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Learning Connection: The Value of School Wellness

2 Nutrition and Academic Achievement Poorly nourished students tend to score lower on standardized achievement tests Adequate nutrition necessary for optimal cognitive functioning Iron deficiency anemia linked to shortened attention span, irritability, fatigue and difficulty concentrating Low protein intake associated with lower achievement scores

3 Hunger and Academic Achievement Students who are food insufficient Have significantly lower math scores More likely to be hyperactive, absent and tardy than peers not at risk for hunger Even transient hunger from missing a meal compromises cognitive function and school performance

4 Breakfast and Academic Performance Eating breakfast is associated with increased test scores daily attendance class participation better classroom behavior

5 Overweight and academic achievement Children with BMI >95%-ile – were 4 times more likely to report “impaired school functioning” – more likely to have abnormal scores on Child Behavior Checklist – lower math and reading scores than non-overweight peers

6 For the brain to learn brain cells must bind to one another. Exercise stimulates this better than any other factor we are aware of at the present time.

7 Brain volume actually increases with regular aerobic exercise Exercise thickens cerebral cortex, increases the number of cells responsible for memory and increases BDNF (Brain Derived Nuerotropic Factor: known as Miracle Gro for the brain).

8 Physical activity improves 7 categories of cognitive function among school aged children Perceptual skills IQ Achievement Verbal tests Mathematics tests Developmental level Academic readiness (Sibley et al. 2003)

9 Physical activity is also good for psychological health Improves attention Improves impulse control Lessens fatigue Improves concentration and focus Improves self esteem Reverses “learned helplessness” Improves mood Reduces anxiety

10 Physical activity can help schools meet academic goals “ Exercise inhibits impulsivity. Exercise is like taking a little Prozac and a little Adderall. It increases serotonin, norepinepherine and dopamine (the feel good chemicals).” ~ Dr. John Ratey

11 An investment in health is an investment in academic performance.

12 Physical activity improves 7 categories of cognitive function among school aged children Perceptual skills IQ Achievement Verbal tests Mathematics tests Developmental level Academic readiness (Sibley et al. 2003)

13 Fitness improves math and language skills The more fitness standards children meet, the better they do in math and language arts (California study). This is true regardless of gender, race and income.

14 Fit kids smile more “ Exercise inhibits impulsivity. Exercise is like taking a little Prozac and a little Adderall. It increases serotonin, norepinepherine and dopamine.” ~ Dr. John Ratey

15 Exercise Prepares the Learner Improves attention Improves impulse control Lessens fatigue Improves concentration and focus Improves self esteem Reverses “learned helplessness” Improves mood Reduces anxiety

16 Employee wellness: We work well!

17 Anita Courtney, MS, RD Chairperson of Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition


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