Beginning from hunting prey for survival to gathering, running, jumping, climbing, crawling, lifting, dancing humans are meant to move. Movement persists since the most ancient era and contributes to major human development, quoting Daniel Wolpert who says ‘We have a brain for one reason and one reason only — and that’s to produce adaptable and complex movements.’
It is believed that all learning, no matter how abstract, is physical. The human body is far beyond mere physical strength and endurance. The intimate thought processes, emotions which are an inseparable part of the human personality are a combined endeavor of the mind and body. Reports also suggest that early movement experiences form an essential part of brain development. Thus, preventing a child from moving in the initial phases of life hampers the learning abilities.
Conversely, as we embraced the technological era, we have got the vehicles; machines and technology do the moving for us. Sedentary life style has become an acceptable part of our lives and thought to be normal. The video games children are glued to, don’t require our bodies moving but only sitting on the couches clicking mouse buttons and moving joysticks rather.
The unnecessary accessibility of possibly everything gives children no reason to move around; neither to find food nor make the effort to even get hungry. Children and adults alike are losing connect between the mind and body. Children are forgetting the deep rooted relationship between the body and movement to end up getting trapped in lifestyle disorders. We human beings have forgotten the fact that we are meant to move.
As young as three months, infants acquire voluntary control of their bodies when they first try to turn and lie on their stomachs and then return to their back. The child further steps his first foot, slowly holds his parents hands to move around. These movements are regarded as important developmental milestones of the child. The child enjoys these movements and while on the move gathers plethora of information of the world through the senses. The more children move around the better they will be at learning concepts and train muscles for a particular activity. We should not fight against the impulsive behaviour of children; we may deprive them of an important developmental stage.
As rightly said that the body gets better at whatever we do, or don’t do. If children don’t move the body will make them better at NOT moving. On the hence side continuous movement will allow them to better be moving.
Education facilitators have come up with the concept of active classrooms; those that provide a sustainable environment which embraces and fosters movement unlike the customary classrooms. These active classrooms promote holistic development in children. The active classrooms are a joy to children while they also facilitate neural development, encourage kinaesthetic memory, spatial orientation and dynamic interactions.
Let’s join hands to help children utilize movement to find connect with the body and bring the body back into action.