ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — The Alexandria City Public School system is working on getting stationary bikes in all 12 of its elementary schools after a successful pilot at Ferdinand T. Day Elementary.
In a designated hallway, six students ride stationary bikes… while reading. Exercising drives oxygen into the brain. Physical education teacher April Rodgers says that increases comprehension.
“There’s research that says students who participated in a high-intensity bicycling session; when they went back in [the classroom], they were able to retain more details and… they had more fluid sentences,” said Rodgers.
Fifth-grade teacher Barbara Watkins uses the bikes as “brain breaks,” especially in between long and hard classes. Elementary school students can get restless, Watkins says, and her students benefit. “They love it. They get excited about it,” said Watkins. “And it’s a way for them to get their brains moving and thinking.”
The bikes are all thanks to Alexandria’s RunningBrooke; a nonprofit that has granted a total of $45,000 to the school division for exercise-based projects.