Active Classrooms

Movement increases brain function. Physical activity increases blood flow which brings more oxygen, water and glucose to the brain and leads to improved concentration. Physical activity also increases endorphins, which have a positive effect on mood. As a result, Active Kids Learn Better.


Research shows that physical activity affects the brain in ways that allow students to be more engaged and ready to learn. If a child is sitting too long, he or she is missing out on vital movements that increase brain function and activity.


Springboard to Active Schools and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have published a set of four practical tools for Classroom Physical Activity:


  1. Strategies for Classroom Physical Activity in Schools
  2. Integrate Classroom Physical Activity in Schools: A Guide for Putting Strategies into Practice
  3. Data Brief: Integrate Classroom Physical Activity in Schools
  4. Infographic: Strategies for Classroom Physical Activity


Classroom teachers can contribute to their students’ need for the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day while simultaneously teaching and reinforcing academic concepts. There are several activities that can contribute to an active classroom:


  • Morning wake up warm up activities
  • Classroom physical activity breaks (also known as brain breaks, brain boosters or energizers)
  • Integrating physical activity into classroom instruction, including walking while learning
  • Yoga and plyometrics breaks
  • Sit-stand desks, pedal desks or balance boards
  • Wearable devices and technology-based fitness logs to track physical activity

These various physical activity options can energize a group after lunch or relax and calm a class before a test.


Active Schools’ partner organizations provide many tools and resources free or at cost to help keep classrooms active.

Morning wake up warm up activities:

Classroom physical activity breaks and integration of physical activity into classroom instruction:


Yoga and plyometrics breaks:

Sit-stand desks, pedal desks, balance boards and similar:

Wearable devices and technology-based fitness logs:

Variety of equipment and resources:

Professional Development for Active Schools and Classrooms: