The schools always seemed a little boring day in the office. You show up on time, sit at your desk, and fill out various papers for the rest of the day. However, many offices have already realized that sitting for several hours is bad for both health and productivity. How long will it take for schools to notice?
If it depends on the project “Read a nd Ride”, not much. At Ward Elementary School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, traditional chairs were replaced by exercise bikes. Thus, the student exercises while learning.
Beginning in 2009, today, one of the rooms is already equipped with enough bicycles for even the largest classes in the school, which take turns throughout the day. As they pedal, they read. The combination not only burns calorie but also makes children learn better: studies from the results of tests and exams have shown that students who spent more time participating in the program achieved an average of 83%. Those who pedal less, presented lower scores: the average is 41%.
“Pedaling on stationary bikes makes reading fun for many kids who get frustrated when they read,” said Scott Ertl, who started the program. “They have a way of letting go of that frustration they feel as they pedal,” Scott says.
Using bicycles, students will also exercise without having to attend Physical Education classes, condemned by many. “Many overweight students struggle with sports and activities because they do not want to lose or stay last,”Scott explains.”On bikes, they can follow their own pace and work out on their own level, without anyone noticing when they slow down or rest.”
Since its inception, 5 years ago, Read and Ride has expanded to 30 US schools.
With information from zephyrledlights.