There is lots of evidence that an active learning environment with time for physical activity, running and play helps children learn better. The mind-body-learning connection is powerful stuff! A new study from Finland shows that first grade children, especially boys, need time running around in order to learn to read. Sitting for longer periods doesn't help - it actually hinders reading and math development! Here is the article in Time.com : Boys Who Sit Still Have Harder Time Learning to Read.
Boys whose days were more sedentary when they were in first grade (a crucial year for learning to read) made fewer gains in reading in second and third grade.
I'm happy to note that Parker kids in the lower grades get a minimum of 60 to 75 minutes a day for actual recess, and there is also phys ed, Muddy Boots Club, time spent outdoors just for fun, movement in music and Spanish and not a lot of "seat time". It is a great argument for the adventure we are about to embark on -Winter Fridays - when everyone gets a change of pace for swimming, skiing, XC skiing, snow boarding, and movement. Active body - active mind!