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Two out of every three children are considered inactive based on how long they sit during the day. Incorporating physical activity into the classroom is a must, but in ways that enhance and don’t disrupt learning.

In collaboration with Fuel Up to Play 60, an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, we’ve compiled five brain boosters that will help get students moving and promote better academic performance.

Here’s how to effectively integrate movement into a busy school day:

  • Walk and talk: Break students into groups of two or three and assign a topic related to a current lesson plan that students need to discuss while taking a five-minute walk. They should report their discussion back to the class.
  • Acting out: Read a paragraph or page of a book, and every time an action verb comes up, the students act it out.
  • Calm down: Between lessons or before a test, lead students in stretches. Have them hold each position for 15-20 seconds: reach for the sky, touch toes, arm circles, neck circles and knees to chest.
  • Small groups: Using adjustable standing desks like LearnFit®, have students alternate between large group discussion and small group work by moving their desks into different formations. They’ll burn more calories and bring more energy to the lesson.
  • Quiz me: While reviewing for a test, ask the students a series of true-or-false questions. If the question is true, students should do

Movement is associated with greater academic performance, physical well-being and engagement. Specifically, low-level physical activity (LLPA) has been shown to help keep students focused, while improving their ability to retain information and exercise critical thinking. LLPA, like standing, has a positive impact on the whole body, helping address juvenile metabolic health, chronic disease prevention, childhood obesity and more. For additional ways to add movement to the classroom, visit the Fuel Up to Play 60 website.


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