The Benefits of Movement for Youth: a Whole Child Approach

Abstract

This paper synthesizes studies on the benefits of movement on youth’s health, cognition, and academic performance. It discusses behavioral and cognitive outcomes of different types of movement activities including physical activities integrated into teaching of academic content, classroom exercise breaks, afterschool exercise programs, and active recess. Empirical evidence points out that movement-based activities are low-cost and easily implemented interventions to improve youth’s physical and mental health, learning, executive functioning, memory, on-task behavior, and academic performance. School psychologists can play an active role in educating policymakers, school personnel, youth, and parents regarding the benefits of movement and create a school culture that celebrates an active lifestyle.

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Correspondence to Elena Savina.

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Savina, E., Garrity, K., Kenny, P. et al. The Benefits of Movement for Youth: a Whole Child Approach. Contemp School Psychol 20, 282–292 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40688-016-0084-z

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Keywords

  • Movement-based activities
  • Physical exercise
  • Physical and mental health
  • Cognitive functions
  • Academic performance
  • Children and adolescents