I work a lot with getting more physical activity into schools and I want to share with you why I work so hard with it despite all the resistance from schools and politicians.
Today, research shows that exercise balances different neurotransmitters in the brain, which improves concentration, mood, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves our ability to learn things. And what I think is probably most important, we become happier by physical activity.
New brain cells are created throughout the whole life and research has shown that exercise is the best help for that. Exercise makes our brains prepared for learning as they are made to lead and plan. Brains that do what they are intended for also perform better in other contexts.
In other words, exercise is very important, and it should be one of the core subjects.
According to the National Agency of Education, students should have 500 hours of sports and health throughout their school hours, which is just under half the number of hours of mathematics. Compared to the rest of the EU, Sweden is far down on the list.
I read about a school in the city of Naperville outside Chicago, USA, where students begin every school day with physical activity, which prepares the brain for the school day. Naperville has gone from being a mediocre school to becoming one of the nation’s best. In addition, only 3% of the students are overweight compared to about 30% in the rest of the US.
Brain cells are created during the sport lessons and then used to learn in the other lessons.
That’s how I think we should look at the physical activity in schools.