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July 24, 2024
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The Movement Revolution: Unlocking the Full Potential of School-Aged Children through Physically Active Learning

The Movement Revolution: Unlocking the Full Potential of School-Aged Children through Physically Active Learning
Photo Credit: Fit and Fun Playscapes

Addressing the Sedentary Pandemic

In the picturesque town of Poughkeepsie, New York, a silent yet pervasive pandemic has been unfolding for decades. Unlike the transmissible health crises that dominate headlines, this pandemic affects children in a different way. It’s not viral, but its impact is no less severe, leading to childhood obesity, attentional disorders, depression, and anxiety. This silent pandemic is none other than the rise of a sedentary lifestyle among school-aged children. Reports indicate that sedentary habits and excessive screen time have become the norm, with profound implications for children’s health.

In response to this growing crisis, Fit and Fun Playscapes, a trailblazing company, is spearheading a movement to integrate increased movement opportunities within educational settings. Their Founder and CEO, Pamela Gunther, has recognized the urgency of combating this sedentary lifestyle, understanding that movement is not just a physical activity but the very foundation for growth – physically, academically, socially, and creatively.

The Movement Revolution: Unlocking the Full Potential of School-Aged Children through Physically Active Learning
Photo Credit: Fit and Fun Playscapes

The Urgency for The Movement Revolution

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that children aged 3-5 should be active throughout the day, and those aged 6-17 should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Pamela Gunther emphasizes the critical role of movement in holistic development, and it is this understanding that forms the cornerstone of what she calls ‘The Movement Revolution.’

The alarming prevalence of sedentary lifestyles among children necessitates a paradigm shift in education. The Movement Revolution advocates for a more active approach to learning, recognizing the profound impact of movement on children’s physical and mental health, academic performance, and overall well-being.

The Science Behind Movement and Growth

Scientific research underscores the importance of physical activity for growth and development. Fit and Fun Playscapes envisions a school environment where children have extended recess periods, abundant opportunities for unstructured play, and a chance to develop crucial life skills through movement. The benefits of increased daily movement and physical activity are far-reaching:

  • Enhanced Cognitive Growth: Studies indicate that physical activity and free play contribute to improved cognitive function.
  • Improved Academic Performance: Contrary to popular belief, increased physical activity does not hinder academic progress; it enhances it.
  • Social and Emotional Development: Daily physical activity provides a unique platform for children to develop essential social and emotional skills.
  • Physical Health and Well-being: In the face of rising childhood obesity, dedicated time for movement becomes a powerful intervention.
  • Stress Reduction and Mental Health: Daily physical activity offers a crucial opportunity for stress relief, rejuvenation, and improved overall well-being.

Fit and Fun Playscapes, under Pamela Gunther’s leadership, prioritizes the mental, physical, and emotional health of children, creating an environment that is not only conducive to academic success but also nurtures well-rounded individuals.

The Movement Revolution: Unlocking the Full Potential of School-Aged Children through Physically Active Learning
Photo Credit: Fit and Fun Playscapes

The Movement Solution

One of the most practical solutions that schools can implement is to integrate movement throughout the day, extending beyond traditional recess and physical education periods. Fit and Fun Playscapes advocates for daily physical activity, motor planning, and play within classroom settings. Utilizing innovative products such as painted stencils, floor and wall stickers, and portable mats, the company provides children with the opportunity to move actively during class time, transitions, and recess.

The impact of Fit and Fun Playscapes’ products is evident in a study conducted by the Oklahoma Department of Education through the CDC’s Healthy Schools program. The results demonstrated a 66% increase in teacher and school engagement with students and a 27% increase in the percentage of students who are physically active. The effectiveness of these interventions extends beyond physical benefits, influencing cognitive and emotional aspects.

The Movement Revolution: Unlocking the Full Potential of School-Aged Children through Physically Active Learning
Photo Credit: Fit and Fun Playscapes

Movement with Purpose

Fit and Fun Playscapes designs their products with a purpose – to provide multiple opportunities for movement, self-regulation, and social interaction. The company’s products, which include colorful graphics, science-based movements, and intentional activities, are developed in collaboration with educators and health experts. These products offer benefits ranging from improved motor planning and body awareness to enhanced focus, academic performance, and physical coordination.

Pepper Franchina-Gallagher, a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, attests to the effectiveness of Fit and Fun Playscapes’ products in improving motor planning, body awareness, and providing sensory feedback. The carefully designed games contribute not only to physical well-being but also support socialization and problem-solving skills.

Destined for Greater Good

The journey of Pamela Gunther from a licensed architect and VP at a real estate consulting firm to the Founder and CEO of Fit and Fun Playscapes was born out of a labor of pure love. Her involvement in the Playground Committee for the PTA sparked a passion for creating engaging and colorful recess games. This passion took a significant turn when her sons were diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Recognizing the potential of diverse physical activities in helping children with ADD/ADHD, Gunther embarked on a mission to create an impactful solution.

Fit and Fun Playscapes, with its diverse and engaging products, has become a beacon in advocating for increased movement in schools. Recognized by the CDC for ‘creating environments supportive of physical activity,’ the company continues to grow and innovate, offering solutions that cater to the diverse needs of children.

Join The Movement!

Today, Fit and Fun Playscapes has grown its product offerings to include engaging graphics that help kids anywhere and of any ability to get the movement their bodies need. They continue to develop new, innovative ideas for an older and broader segment because we are all just not moving enough! Join Fit and Fun Playscapes in advocating for this important cause and reshaping the future of education for the better.

Learn More & Follow for Updates!

Website: https://www.fitandfunplayscapes.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FitandFunPlay

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FitandFunPlayscapes

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fitandfunplayscapes/

YouTube: https://youtu.be/i9odTma1HUU

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fit-and-fun-playscapes

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/fitandfunplayscapes/

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@fitandfunplay

Published by: Martin De Juan

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