University of Michigan and Detroit Public TV Partner on New Program to Get Kids Moving
InPACTatHome offers a series of videos to lure students away from their desks to get the exercise they need for the health of their bodies and their minds
DETROIT – (February 4, 2021) – The University of Michigan Exercise & Sports Science Initiative and School of Kinesiology have collaborated with Detroit Public TV to produce a series of fitness videos that encourages students to get out of their seats and be active during distance learning. The program is intended to reinforce the idea that, during this pandemic, kids need to exercise their bodies as well as their minds while learning at home or in the classroom.
It is estimated that only 23 percent of U.S. kids get the recommended hour of daily physical activity, and that number has likely fallen since COVID-19 closed schools.
Called InPACTatHome (Interrupting Prolonged Sitting with Activity), the program was developed to offset COVID-19’s effect on Michigan’s 1.5 million school kids by offering freely available and universally accessible workouts created in collaboration with physical education teachers.
Detroit Public TV has produced more than 130 videos featuring educators – sometimes with their children or even extended families – leading “brain boosts” during the learning day that involve some kind of movement and physical activity that can be done inside the home.
These eight-minute segments are being broadcast currently on the new statewide education network, the Michigan Learning Channel (MLC), during the instructional block from 8 a.m.-noon and again from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. In addition, there are short, one-minute videos that will also be airing on the MLC.
“There has been a strong demand from parents for content that will take kids away from their screens and get them moving,” said Rich Homberg, president and CEO of Detroit Public TV. “We can’t expect, and we don’t want, students to sit still for eight hours. It’s not good for their minds or their bodies.
“Working with some of the nation’s leading experts at the University of Michigan School of Kinesiology, we have created a program that can help kids get the exercise they need – and hopefully stir the rest of the family into action.”
The development of InPACTatHome has been guided by research performed at the U-M School of Kinesiology, which found that such exercise breaks help students focus on their schoolwork and help improve comprehension and learning.
Rebecca Hasson, associate professor of kinesiology and director of the Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory, says most children typically receive most of their physical activity from physical education classes, after-school sports and recess. That was before the pandemic.
“Kids aren’t used to exercising at home. They’ll have to think about how to rearrange the furniture, do they have the right clothes, do they have enough room, etc.,” Hasson said.
“We hope that students will continue with InPACTatHome even after schools reopen, so they’ll get 20 minutes of activity in the class, 20 minutes at home and 20 minutes during recess or in physical education class, to total one hour a day, five days a week.”
Hasson is also the director of the Active Schools & Communities unit of the University of Michigan Exercise & Sports Science Initiative (ESSI).
The Michigan Learning Channel is spotlighting the InPACTatHome initiative in a three-week series that it is calling “Heart Healthy February.” Beginning the week of Feb. 8, it will ask families to set goals and develop plans to establish movement breaks between Zoom sessions.
The following week, which includes Valentine’s Day, has been designated as “Heart Week,” with activities focused on maintaining cardiovascular health.
Finally, the last week’s activities will concentrate on movements for arms and legs, some of which can be performed while sitting at the computer.
Each week the MLC will feature new videos and resources. As an extra bonus, families that participate will have the opportunity to unlock special videos that the Detroit Lions and Detroit Pistons have produced for the program.
While the InPACTatHome videos can’t replace physical education — which is an entire curriculum devoted to movement and motor skills—they do address the activity component kids are missing in the absence of gym class.
The InPACTatHome fitness videos can be viewed on-demand at MichiganLearning.org, where students and families can also find an Activity Log to set exercise goals and a calendar of suggested videos for each week.
Funding for the fitness videos comes from a grant awarded to InPACTatHome by the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) through the Michigan Public Health Institute (MPHI).
About Detroit Public Television
Serving Southeast Michigan, Detroit Public TV (DPTV) is Michigan’s largest and most watched television station, with the most diverse public television audience in the country. DPTV is the state’s only community-licensed station, meaning it operates independent of any educational, government or other institution. Its funding comes solely from the community. Each week, more than two million people watch DPTV’s four broadcast channels, and nearly 200,000 people listen to its radio station, WRCJ 90.9 FM for classical days and jazzy nights. In addition, DPTV is building the next generation of public media with a rapidly growing digital presence, which now reaches more than half a million unique visitors through its website, YouTube channels and social media platforms each month. Visit DPTV.org.
About Michigan Learning Channel
Launched by all the state’s public television stations, the Michigan Learning Channel (MLC), delivers instructional content to students, parents and teachers, using a wide variety of media platforms, including a system of dedicated broadcast channels. It makes curriculum-aligned and teacher-tested content universally available, overcoming limitations in online access for rural and urban areas alike. The programming has been developed in consultation with leading educators and community leaders across the state. The MLC was conceived and organized by Detroit Public TV. Initial funding for the Michigan Learning Channel is provided by awards totaling $3.5 million; 43% or $1.5 million of the budget is through a grant from the Michigan Department of Education supported by the Governors Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund Grant, part of the CARES Act. The remainder is through funding from the Michigan State Legislature. For more information, visit MichiganLearning.org.
The InPACTatHome program is an evidence-informed, home-based physical activity program that enables K-12 students to engage in health-enhancing physical activity. Children and youth have access to a variety of cardio, flexibility, strength and mindfulness videos that are developmentally appropriate and approved by pediatric exercise physiologists and physical education specialists. Program partners include the University of Michigan, Michigan School Health Coordinators’ Association, the Society of Health and Physical Educators, Michigan Public Health Institute, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Lions and Playworks. To learn more about this program visit: inpactathome.umich.edu.