THE TENNESSEAN | At Carpenters Middle School in Blount County, exercise and reading go hand in hand.
Nearly 200 students participate in the “Pedal Power” program, spending 20 minutes a day reading a book they select while riding a recumbent bike.
Students say that when they are physically active while they learn, they notice a difference, with one sharing that before the program he “used to not focus on reading” and another explaining “I’ve been reading more.”
Blount County’s program is not an outlier. We are increasingly learning that students’ overall well-being and their academic achievement are intrinsically linked. In our experiences—as a physician and as an educator who has taught at the high school and college level — we both have seen firsthand that good health helps our youth prosper.