Research has shown that classroom movement and mental health are connected, and teachers are pleased to see that exercise not only improves grades, but reduced discipline problems as well.

Soft SkillsThe DeskCycle is one tool that students use at Omro Elementary School in Wisconsin to keep moving while staying focused, and getting work done.  “It helps me calm down and it helps my brain focus on one thing instead of thinking about everything,” said 10 year old Charlotte Stellphlug as she lifted five and eight pound weights after finishing her schoolwork.. She uses the weights several times  a week.

Omro School district referred to a two year study published in February, 2016, which found that elementary students significantly improved their math and spelling performance when physical activity is incorporated into their lessons. However, the staff found that the benefits also extended to student mental health symptoms and behaviors.

According to Dr. Eric Smiltneek, a family physician in Oshkosh, activity in the brain reduces craving for new stimuli and and increases alertness. It also increases feelings of confidence, making it likely that students will attempt a task.

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