Physical activity boosting resources support classroom performance
Submitted by the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association and the National Football League continue their commitment to kids’ whole-body health through physical activity.
This back-to-school season, the American Heart Association and the National Football League, in collaboration with the Buffalo Bills, are offering students exciting ways to move more with NFL PLAY 60. Physical activity is important as students return to the classroom. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, active kids learn better, focus more, think more clearly, react to stress more calmly, and perform and behave better in the classroom. (Source: Department of Health and Human Services, Physical Activity Guidelines/https://health.gov/paguidelines/default.aspx).
The American Heart Association, devoted to a world of healthier lives for all, recommends that kids get a minimum of 60 minutes of vigorous physical activity each day. Developing healthy habits and reducing sedentary behaviors in kids is key to immediate and long-term health benefits that can play a role in the classroom experience.
“Getting active for 60 minutes a day is critical as kids who are regularly active have a better chance of a healthy adulthood,” said Jason Stulb, executive director of the American Heart Association in the Buffalo/Niagara Region. “For more than 15 years, the American Heart Association and the NFL have found innovative ways to bring fun and easy to access resources to classrooms, afterschool programs and homes to meet kids where they are in support of mental and physical wellness.”
Rooted in that science, NFL PLAY 60 helps children to develop healthy physical and mental health habits for a better chance of healthy adulthood. This year’s in-school activation, “Race to Super Bowl LVII,” will provide students opportunities to get physically active throughout the 2022-23 NFL season from Kickoff to the 2023 NFL Draft.
One way students can get active with “Race to the Super Bowl LVII” is through a series of NFL PLAY 60 “Fitness Break” broadcasts. The first of three broadcasts will air Thursday, Sept. 15, at 1 p.m. ET. This 15-minute, synchronous, back-to-school, back-to-football broadcast features the Los Angeles Rams and the Carolina Panthers. The broadcast helps students to understand the connection between physical activity and classroom performance along with opportunities to move with exercise segments. Two additional “Fitness Break” broadcasts will be held later in the school year. A Super Bowl broadcast will be held Feb. 15, and an NFL Draft broadcast on April 26. Advanced registration for all three broadcasts is required at www.heart.org/NFLPLAY60.
The second opportunity for students to get active as a part of “Race to Super Bowl LVII” is to track their minutes in the NFL PLAY 60 app. The free app, available for iOS and Android, allows users to control personalized avatars onscreen with their own physical movement. From Sept. 26 to Oct. 26, students can track their minutes of physical activity within the app in the group play feature, designed for classroom and after-school program use. Within the app, a leaderboard function allows for healthy competition between classrooms, grades and schools. At the end of the challenge, 32 schools, one per NFL team, will receive a $1,000 grant to use for physical activity equipment. One national winning school, receiving an additional $1,000 grant, will be named in the Super Bowl “Fitness Break” broadcast. An additional tracking challenge will be held in the spring.
In addition to the “Race to Super Bowl LVII” activities new this year, students and teachers can access on-demand exercises from the 32 NFL teams in the digital NFL PLAY 60 library to help them reach their recommended 60-minutes of daily physical activity.
For more information on NFL PLAY 60, visit heart.org/NFLPLAY60.
The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for nearly a century. Connect with us on heart.org, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.
For 15 years (since 2007), the NFL PLAY 60 initiative has served as the league’s national youth health and wellness initiative to encourage millions of kids across the country to get physically active for at least 60 minutes a day and fuel the body with nutritious foods. With more than $360 million to youth health and fitness through PLAY 60 programming, grants and awareness campaigns, the NFL, its 32 clubs and its PLAY 60 partners have provided more than 38 million children the resources they need to boost their activity levels by supporting programs in over 73,000 schools and constructing more than 280 youth fitness zones nationwide. For more information, visit NFL.com/PLAY60.