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Study + exercise = learning


In June I posted about the proven impact exercise has on memory. Let’s take that to another level today and talk about our kids’ education. It is thought that exercise may have an even greater impact on children whose brains are still growing throughout the school years.

The No Child Left Behind program has put intense focus on academic test performance at the expense of physical education. PE and recess time are being reduced throughout the country. Since the link between physical fitness and academic performance is well known, this trend needs to be reversed.

Vanessa Richardson sites several studies in her article, A Fit Body Means a Fit Mind. One study concludes, “…students who took PE prior to class showed one and a quarter year’s growth on the standardized reading test after just one semester, while the exercise-free students gained just nine-tenths of a year.” And the results from scheduling PE before a math class “were even more dramatic; exercising students increased their math test scores by 20.4 percent, while the rest gained 3.9 percent.”

Seriously, my friends. We need to turn this around for our kids!


First in Training, NC

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Trends in corporate employee wellness programs

Check this out. According to the article, Trend: Employee Wellness published by Great Place to Work, 55 of the top 100 best workplaces in 2013 offered financial incentives for employees to participate in wellness programs. And the incentives ranged from an average of $460 to a best of $2600 so it’s not just a token. The article also credits companies for having onsite gyms or subsidies for offsite fitness centers. Gym benefits have been around a bit longer though but the point here is the trend.

The trend involves two good things:

  • More companies are actively supporting health & fitness
  • Companies are getting more creative and flexible with their programs

I really love the idea of an incentive for participating in a wellness program on your own. Gyms aren’t for everyone but if they’re your thing, you will probably use one with or without a subsidy. An incentive for a wellness program could (and should) be for whatever it is that works for each individual. It might be food counseling or a step tracker or personal exercise therapy.

With all of the changes and unknowns related to how health care is and will be paid for it makes intense sense for employers who have a stake in it on many levels to invest on the prevention side of health care. Do you agree?

If you got a financial incentive for a wellness program, what would you use it for?


First in Training, NC