Thursday, December 8, 2016

Boys Who Sit Still Have a Harder Time Learning to Read

Title: Boys Who Sit Still Have a Harder Time Learning to Read

Image result for boys bored in class

Source: Time Magazine Online, Belinda Luscombe @luscombeland  Dec. 2, 2016


Key points:  Researchers have found that lower levels of physical activity, higher levels of sedentary time, and particularly their combination, were related to poorer reading skills in boys. This is of particular importance as cuts to school budgets and increased focus on reading and math often come at the expense of PE and team sports. The connection between physical activity and learning has long been known but the disconnect at the school level remains and in fact continues to grow wider.

Intended audience: Teacher and Parents

Relevance: Boys are often overlooked in education. Their behavior is misinterpreted as negative when in fact they really do have the "wiggles." As a coach and a special education teacher, I have seen first hand the benefits of physical activity for boys and young men. If schools continue to make cuts to PE and sports we need to find ways to incorporate movement into our classrooms and activities. 


  1. This article points out a lot of important points. One way to get students to be physical while they are learning are to take brain breaks through go noodle, take a brain power walk before a new subject starts, or having students lead the class in a classroom stretch. The other thing that may help is having flexible seating in your classroom to allow students to pick a space where they think they can learn best.

  2. It’s simply not natural to sit in a classroom all day. Lack of physical activity has resulted in greater obesity and diabetes levels. And, as we all know, being physically active helps cognitive functioning. We may not be able to do much about PE and sports budget cuts, but maybe we can include physical movement more in our classrooms. I often take students for walks outside to help wake them up, and as a future teacher I plan in incorporating kinesthetic learning into my classroom community. Good informative article…I wonder why there is such a difference in how physical activity affects boys and girls.

  3. Thank you for posting this article, I have so many students that are way too active. We have learned the importance of physical activity for children to learn and I think that this is a message that still needs to be spread. Something simple I have started to do with some of my boys is allowing them the option to use the sensory room if I am available or running a lap before their most stressful subjects. They love having control over when they need these breaks and have been able to engage in their learning so much more.

  4. I cant help but smile when I read this article. It makes me think about how much kids can learn by just giving them fun and physical activities to do during breaks. I worked at a summer camp for a while and kids just seem to be able to focus when they are allowed to get physical with their environment. As a learner myself, I have to have breaks. It is hard for me to go on long lecture stints during even a 3 hour class, and I often lose focus. Usually after a break, I have an easier time focusing, which can be said about our students.