My nursing career has provided me experience in labour and delivery, neurosurgery, public health, and currently, instructing nursing students. The acquisition of knowledge and helping others to navigate their needs has been a strong driver in my career path. My current pursuit of a Masters in Nursing, is focusing on increasing the levels of physical activity of school age children.
North Americans have become more sedentary, with increasing incidence of childhood obesity and diabetes. The importance of exposure to physical activity and active role models within schools is becoming important.
Education is highly valued by Canadians, and so often parents and school staff agree that when time is limited, curriculum should take precedence over physical activity. However, the benefits of physical activity are farther reaching than just cardiovascular health. Research is demonstrating that raising a child’s heart rate followed by a complex task, readies the brain to absorb teaching content. Hence, if physical activity is implemented during the school day with the intent of raising heart rates prior to teaching, curriculum may be absorbed more effectively.
With the pursuit of my masters, and with the receipt of the award from CNF, it is my desire to explore the use of classroom physical activity as a tool for student learning. If used correctly, students are more activated to learn, have more fun doing it, achieve better grades, and become healthier members of society who take home the love of activity to their parents.