Where Learning Meets Exercise

Photo credit: Doug Buerlein Photography

Incorporating daily physical activity into classroom routines delivers a public policy twofer: It promotes learning and it helps combat obesity. Says Science Daily, citing recent classroom studies: “Physical education and academic instruction need not be mutually exclusive.”

As part of its commitment to combating childhood obesity in Central Virginia, Bon Secours Virginia Health System will give $120,000 to Richmond-area schools to buy SOL-compliant, movin’ mania Learnercize Mats to help teachers combine learning and movement in classrooms for young children. Teachers call out questions and students answer by clapping, singing,  jumping or otherwise cavorting upon the mats.

The mats, which will appear in 115 classrooms across the region, are designed to promote children’s psychomotor, cognitive and social/emotional development. The Learnercise curriculum uses multiple pathways to “wire the brain,” leading to deep contextual learning in literacy and math, states Bon Secours in a press release.

Bacon’s bottom line: I have no earthly idea whether movin’ mania will prove to be an effective teaching tool or not, but it’s worth a try. With education budgets perennially pinched, schools rarely have the resources to conduct this kind of experiment on their own. It would be great if participating schools could structure their programs so as to collect meaningful data and determine if “learnercizing” yields meaningful results. That way we could know if the program is worth funding in the future.


Bon Secours of Virginia Health System is a sponsor of Bacon’s Rebellion.

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  1. geeze Bacon.. you sound like a Liberal! Do you have to pretend to be one for Bon Secours!


    I’m all for exercise. I walk and I’m all for walking…. running….jumping… twirling… whatever snaps your socks….

    but for most of us exercise is not going to cure your obesity.

    you’d have to spend 2 or more hours a day at it to make a ding in it.

    our problem is that we eat too much and we eat way too much of things that have way too many calories……

    When we could have a tomato or a pepper, we have half a bag of chips …. eating them one at a time so we don’t really know how many heaping bowls we have downed.

    exercise more but eat less.


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