My post yesterday railed on the pathetic, blatant, ANTI-health promoting messaging I witnessed a teacher direct to her students on a playground. Thankfully, today we are back on the sunny side of the street, for it is with great enthusiasm I report recent research that shows unquestioned evidence that school-aged kids can be motivated to engage in physical activity by any adult who takes the time to offer encouragement, regardless of the adult’s own level of fitness or skill proficiency.
In the study, self-identified low fit and low skilled adults charged with supervising recess at a cluster of elementary schools were recognized by the kids as the one’s most influential in getting them to play every day. This proves what many of us have known anecdotally, that to kids, an adult doesn’t need to be an accomplished athlete or uber-fit to inspire them to be active. An adult simply needs to offer encouragement!
It also should dispel any anxiety adults have about their ‘qualification’ to inspire/motivate engagement, particularly if they perceive themselves (or are) low-fit or low-skilled. Kids DO respond to encouragement to play even when it’s from someone who may lack the skill to do the same.
While recess on a school playground is a nearly failsafe, barrier-free, ‘automatic’, activity environment, actual engagement can’t be taken for granted since millions of kids across the country don’t get the daily minimum of 60 minutes.
Find the chance to make a difference, today.