Research-based exercise program helps preschoolers get fit

May 25, 2016
Smith-Alan-CATS-program

Photo by Sally McCay, courtesy of University of Vermont.

Preschoolers are gaining momentum to keep running–and jumping, dancing and playing–in a new research-based fitness program co-developed by Alan Smith, chairperson of the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University.

Children and Teachers (CATs) on the Move is based at six schools near the University of Vermont, where Smith’s colleague Betsy Hoza and her team of students are leading the program and its associated research. So far, they are seeing positive physical and psychological impacts on children.

Smith’s research focuses on the link between physical activity and social and psychological functioning in kids, particularly those with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

“We are pursuing CATs on the Move as a way to address symptoms and impairments of ADHD because of the broad physical, mental health and social benefits of physical activity,” said Smith. “Moreover, because promoting activity can benefit all children, we are seeking ways to make CATs on the Move widely accessible and sustainable in schools.”

 

Read the feature story published by University of Vermont.