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Adult Learner > Strategies > Physical Activity

Physical Activity


Making space and time for physical activity, through brief movement breaks in the classroom or workplace and incorporating it into daily life, has benefits for the body and mind. Because sitting for long periods can cause full body fatigue and impede learning and performance, taking physical and mental breaks can help learners focus by reducing boredom and increasing their Motivation to resume tasks. Incorporating physical activity into daily routines directly supports Physical Well-being as well as focus, memory, and creative thinking, key for adult learner success.

Use It In Your Learning Environment

Despite the importance of physical activity for body and brain health, only 1/3 of U.S. adults engage in the recommended amount of physical activity each week. Adults should be encouraged and motivated to incorporate physical activities such as running, walking, biking, strength, or yoga, into their daily lives. Physical activity promotes endorphins, supporting Emotion by boosting mood, and has longer-term implications for reduced depression and anxiety.

In the workplace or learning environment, adults should be reminded to take breaks. Sit-and stand desks allow adults to stand up while continuing their work, and have been shown to benefit learning in the workplace and the classroom. Brief movement breaks from workstations can include walking, taking the stairs, getting up to go to the printer, etc. These breaks are also helpful to reduce eye strain and support Vision when using computers for long periods of time. Developers can create products that encourage movement by embedding prompts that encourage learners to take a break and move.

Additional Resources

Additional examples, research, and professional development. These resources are possible representations of this strategy, not endorsements.