We talk a lot here on Obesity Panacea about the health-impact of sedentary behaviour. Recently our colleague Ernesto Ramirez performed a terrific interview with Kimberely Ramsey, a 4th grade teacher in Virginia who has developed a “Read and Ride” program to keep her students active and reduce their sedentary time during the school day. To download a video of the class click here here, or you can watch it online here.
I’ve included the first portion of the interview below, and you can read the full interview at the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network. While you’re there, check out the world’s largest database of sedentary behaviour research, or join the network (it’s free!).
Enjoy the interview!
ER: What is the Read & Ride Program?
KR: I have 1 stationary bike, 1 treadmill, 3 pedal bikes, and 6 stability balls in my classroom. Throughout the day, I choose students to use this equipment while they are reading their AR (Accelerated Reader books), as well as during other various times. This is a motivation for students to read, to be focused, to keep their desk areas organized, to not disturb others, etc. They want to be chosen for this special treat! They keep a log of how many minutes they read and exercise daily at home and at school.
ER: What prompted you to start the Read & Ride Program?
KR: Many things prompted me to implement this type of program. First of all, I was diagnosed with heart disease about 10 years ago. Second, I am a mother of 2 daughters, so I wanted to be a good role model for them. Finally, it’s never made sense to me how or why we would ever expect 9-year olds to remain still and silent all day in a classroom! Impossible! I’ve taught the collaborative class (LD and Autistic) for many years throughout my career. They need to get up and move! What better way to encourage my favorite subject with getting rid of the fidgets at the same time! READ + RIDE!!!
Our class motto is…”What your MIND can conceive and your HEART can believe your BODY can achieve!”
ER: What have you learned from having access to exercise equipment in the classroom?
KR: I have learned that just like we have to teach our children to make healthy choices at home, as parents, we must also continue this in our classrooms. With childhood obesity and diseases like diabetes spreading like wildfire, we must ALL take a stand to make positive changes. We can’t just teach our children, we must show them and be good role models. That being said, I can ride the bike while reading a story to them! It’s a win-win situation for us all.
You can read the rest of the interview here.