Thinking on Their Feet

InPACT program in elementary schools

In a recent piece from the U-M News series, This is Michigan: Stories of Our State, AES/MOVESCI associate professor Rebecca Hasson discusses the InPACT (Interrupting Prolonged sitting with ACTivity) initiative to integrate short bursts of exercise during the school day.

With the help of Project Healthy Schools, the Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory (which Hasson directs) at U-M has worked with about 1,000 students and 29 teachers in four schools. Hasson hopes to secure funding to help implement InPACT statewide.

Munger Elementary-Middle School teacher Cesar Reyes said that students seem less sluggish, happier and more engaged, and they looked forward to the exercise breaks. And, he said, students in urban districts like Munger, which is in Detroit, are exposed to many stressors that can be eased by exercise.

Shortly after starting InPACT, the kids were reminding Reyes when it was “time to dance.”

“They love dancing, they love to move,” he said. “We were able to do the 20-minute workouts almost every day.”