National Academy of Medicine

Increasing Movement to Promote Health and Learning in Early Childhood

By Robert C. Whitaker, Jeffrey S. Gehris
April 06, 2015 | Commentary

Public support is increasing for the investment in pre-kindergarten (pre-K) education for 3- and 4-year-olds.  If physical activity is going to be an integral part of pre-K education, changes are needed in the training of early childhood educators and in the physical environments of pre-K programs. When teachers are trained and motivated to move with children throughout the school day and have the spaces to do so, both children and teachers can benefit. Frequent movement is developmentally appropriate for preschool children, promotes health and learning, and can also improve the physical and mental health of teachers.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations, the National Academy of Medicine (NAM), or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the National Academies). The paper is intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. It is not a report of the NAM or the National Academies. Copyright by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.