The UAMS Office of Community Health & Research (CHR) and the Department of Physical Therapy are working together to help staff and children at early childhood education (ECE) centers stay healthy through movement.
Through the collaborative effort between CHR and the department, physical therapy students are offering virtual trainings to early Head Start centers throughout Northwest Arkansas. The trainings not only help the centers meet program goals and provide opportunities for students to take their expertise out in the real world, but also will help staff and children be more active during the day. During the first training on, which focused on Staff Ergonomic Wellness and was held on Monday, Feb. 21, physical therapy students trained staff on how to limit, correct, offset, and avoid ergonomic exposures commonly experience by childcare workers such as “mommy thumb.”
The trainings are recorded and will be made available through CHR’s ECE program.
“The collaboration between Community Health and Research and the College of Health Professions was a win-win-win,” said Chelsea Barker, CHR ECE Program Manager. “The early childhood centers received free training to promote staff wellness and increase physical activity for the kiddos at the centers, and the physical therapy students were able to receive class credit by working on an impactful project while gaining real-world experience. And CHR gained excellent new training resource videos that can be used with new ECE partners in the future.”
The Centers for Disease Control recommend that children ages 3-5 years be physically active throughout the day for growth and development. Physical activity is proven to have numerous physical and mental benefits in children, including:
- Better academic performance through improved attention and memory
- Stronger brain health and a reduced risk of depression
- Stronger bones and muscles, and more endurance
- Better heart and lung health through improved blood pressure and aerobic fitness
- Better cardiometabolic health and a higher chance of normal blood sugar levels
- Reduced risk of several chronic diseases later in life, including type 2 diabetes and obesity
- A healthier body weight.
For more physical activity tips for children, click here.