Sitting still is out: Students spend lessons on ergometers

"Moving" model project: fifth graders spend lessons on ergometers
According to health experts, children don't exercise enough. But adolescents in particular need exercise: both for physical development, as well as for mental and social. In a model project at a Bavarian school, the children are no longer sitting on the school desk, but on exercise bikes.

Sitting too much makes you sick
A recent study by Techniker Krankenkasse published the conclusion that Germans move far too little. Other studies also conclude that a large part of the population spends far too much time sitting. But sitting for a long time makes you sick. Among other things, this increases the risk of back pain, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular complaints. As part of a model project at a Bavarian school, children no longer have to sit still in class, they spend the lesson on exercise bikes. It also helps concentration.

Fifth graders no longer have to sit still
At a high school in Aschaffenburg, a 5th class started the new school year "moved": As the news agency dpa reports, children between ten and eleven years cycle on ergometers in the classroom during the lesson. Instead of the handlebars, small desks with bookends are attached to their bike ergometers, on which they can read or write in the textbook. According to the information, pedaling is slow to slightly increase the pulse. The goal is around 100 heartbeats per minute. Children shouldn't kick and sweat.

Positive effects predominate
Leif Johannsen, psychologist at the Chair for Movement Science at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), said: "As a rule, cognitive skills are limited if I have to do another motor task."

He conducted experiments in which the participants were asked to solve cognitive tasks on an ergometer. The neuroscientist nevertheless assumes that the positive effects outweigh the positive effects in the Aschaffenburg ergometer class. "The physical activity increases the general level of arousal," said the expert. It was therefore obvious that students reported more frequently on an ergometer and were more attentive. "The request to sit still at school is nonsense," said Johannsen.

Fitter children have better grades in the long term
As it is said, the idea of ​​the ergometer class comes from Austria: Accordingly, the sports scientist and high school teacher Martin Jorde initiated the first class at a Viennese high school in 2007 and noticed positive changes in fitness, but also in grades and social behavior among his students. "Studies show that fitter children also have better grades in the long term," confirmed Johannsen.

"When you move, the cardiovascular system is stimulated," explained Tobias Bauer, who heads the sports department at the Friedrich Dessauer Gymnasium (FDG) in Aschaffenburg. As a result, more blood is pumped into the brain and the concentration is increased. The teacher who brought the ergometer class to school organized the implementation of the project in Figure 5a together with 15 high school students.

On the website of the grammar school it says in summary: "What is already everyday life in almost 70 Austrian schools should bring advantages for the pupils at the FDG: Increased ability to concentrate, positive influence on learning achievements and grades, increased condition, health promotion through exercise and much more." (ad)

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Video: Former NASA Astronaut Daniel Burbank (January 2022).