Pump up your classroom and meetings with physical activity breaks

Make your classes and meetings more exciting and effective with quick, fun physical activity breaks.

Do you ever find yourself leading a meeting or teaching in a classroom and see your audience zoning out, bouncing in their chairs, dozing off or struggling to focus? If so, you might want to think about including more physical activity breaks into your meetings and classrooms. Adding five to ten minutes of physical activity each hour throughout your meetings can keep your audience more engaged, as well as add some energy to the room (especially if you add music!).

Physical activity breaks are quick and easy to add to meetings, and will help you:

  1. Increase the audience’s knowledge retention and academic achievement.
  2. Keep the audience more focused and engaged.
  3. Build rapport with the audience, especially if you use it as an icebreaker.
  4. Increase positive thinking throughout the meeting.
  5. Burn calories and reduce daily stress.

For your next meeting try incorporating five to ten minutes of physical activity breaks into the agenda. Physical activity breaks can be included anytime throughout the meeting and you can be strategic about when you include them:

  • First five minutes: This is a great time to break the ice and get the audience to relax by adding physical activity. Combining an icebreaker with physical activity can help the group get to know each other.
  • Middle of the meeting or during a topic change: If you are ending one topic and switching to another, this is a great time to re-focus your audience with a physical activity break.
  • Last five minutes: This is a great time to end the meeting on a high note with some fun and energy. Don’t let them leave your meeting without feeling energized and excited about what they just heard.

There are many resources out there to find different activities to use for physical activity breaks. It may take you a few tries to find the ones that work best for you and your audience. Here are three of Michigan State University Extension’s favorite physical activity break activities that you might enjoy; Fitness Dice, Beach Ball and Keep It Up.

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