(HealthNewsDigest.com) – DALLAS, September 16, 2020 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, and the National Football League (NFL), are assisting students, parents and educators as they embark on an untraditional school year of virtual, hybrid and socially distant classroom settings which may impact the availability of physical education.
“We know through our NFL PLAY 60 program how important it is for kids to have the resources to stay active and healthy, especially right now,” said Melissa Schiller, Director of Community Relations, NFL. “The NFL is proud to align with the American Heart Association, GoNoodle and Discovery Education to help assist in providing physical education programming to students across the country.”
The American Heart Association and the NFL are providing a free, digital game plan to deliver physical activity programming to students when they return to the classroom – wherever and however that may be. Powered by Go Noodle and Discovery Education, NFL PLAY 60 offers video content, classroom curriculum, family challenges and an interactive app that can keep kids active regardless of what format they are experiencing school this year. Rooted in science, the program prioritizes physical and mental wellness to help children have a better chance of a healthy adulthood.
Traditionally, only 1 in 5 kids get enough physical activity to meet the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ latest Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. As the pandemic continues its disruptive path, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that figure is likely to get worse. Physical activity is critical to drive immediate and long-term health as social distancing lingers.
Benefits to physical activity extend to sleep and overall wellness. Now that children are returning to the classroom having been home for majority of the year, physical activity benefits that can play a role in the classroom experience are vital.
“Active kids learn better. When kids are active, they focus more, think more clearly, react to stress more calmly, and perform and behave better in the classroom,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., MPH, the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention. “Healthy eating and regular physical activity are always key to supporting kids’ health and their future health, and it’s especially critical amid COVID-19.”
The NFL and the American Heart Association have teamed up since 2006 to inspire kids through a fun and engaging way to get physically active. The impact of physical activity on overall mental and physical wellness are essential to help children grow to reach their full potential. In addition to the online resources found at heart.org/nflplay60, the free NFL PLAY 60 app helps kids get more movement throughout the day. The PLAY 60 app allows users to control personalized avatars onscreen with their own physical movement. The app is available for iOS and Android devices.