While some school districts are phasing out recess (a bad idea in my opinion), others are now trying to combine reading and exercise to improve skills and reduce obesity.
A few elementary schools have tried out standing desks, while 31 others have moved to combining study time with exercise bikes. This article touts some positive results from the program but I’d really like to see more about the sample size and methodology because my personal experience makes me very skeptical. Having tried frequently as an undergrad to read while using an exercise bike, I can tell you that at least for me, one or the other had to give. Most of the time I didn’t get much from the reading (if anything), and it compromised how much exercise I got as well. The article inadvertently recognizes the latter problem, noting that “On exercise bikes, students are able to pace themselves and exert themselves at their own level–without anyone noticing when they slow down or take a break.”
I appreciate that educators are trying to be innovative and creative, but this really strikes me as one of the dumber reforms out there. Next thing we know, the schools will dump the program and the exercise bikes will be exported to Sub-Saharan Africa to improve student reading skills there.
Here are some awesome photos: