LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (ACH) – Children in Arkansas are logging more minutes of physical activity than their peers in any other state in the nation, according to a report released today by GoNoodle, an interactive website that gets kids moving.

As part of its investments to make children and communities healthier tomorrow, Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) supports GoNoodle’s physical activity breaks statewide to ensure that daily opportunities for activity are available to every elementary school classroom in the state.

The Kids Movement Index ranks top U.S. cities and states by minutes of physical activity recorded using GoNoodle during the 2015-2016 school year. Arkansas students logged 68 million minutes of activity through the platform, both in the classroom and at home. That was enough activity to rank the state tops based on total population of elementary-age students between the ages of 5 and 12.

GoNoodle’s city data underscores just how much activity Arkansas kids are getting through the system:

• Little Rock ranked No. 1 for mid-sized cities.

• Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers students helped garner the title of No. 1 small city.

• Fort Smith followed as the No. 7 small city for participation based on population.

GoNoodle fosters short bursts of physical activity throughout the school day with video breaks that encourage kids to dance, stretch and briefly exercise, helping teachers keep students engaged, active and energized.

Research shows that these brain breaks can improve behavior and learning.

In 2014, Arkansas Children’s Hospital helped roll out GoNoodle to classrooms statewide as part of its commitment to improve the health status of all kids and combat childhood obesity. The initiative also helps the state progress toward goals listed in Gov. Hutchinson’s Healthy Active Arkansas plan, which include creating fitness opportunities in the school day.

“Arkansas kids love to run, jump and move between lessons at school,” said Anna Strong, executive director of Child Advocacy and Public Health for Arkansas Children’s Hospital. “We’re proud of how they’ve embraced GoNoodle and are showing their friends across the nation just how much fun it is to be active. Arkansas Children’s Hospital is determined to create even more opportunities to get kids moving and help them flourish.”

“With over 10 million kids playing GoNoodle each month across all 50 states and in the top 200 U.S. cities, coupled with GoNoodle's real-time capture of minutes of physical activity, we created the Kids Movement Index to help better understand how turning sedentary environments into active spaces positively impacts kids’ minutes of movement,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO and cofounder of GoNoodle. “The index shows real progress in how teachers and parents are getting kids to incorporate minutes of movement into places not typically thought of as active spaces.”

The CDC recommends that children get 60 minutes of physical activity a day, yet most children typically get less than 20 minutes. This is also reinforced by the recent White House "Presidential Proclamation -- National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, May 2016” and the 2016 US National Physical Activity Plan, with the latter calling for more movement opportunities for kids each day. The growing prevalence of technology and screen-time has contributed to children leading increasingly sedentary lifestyles, yet research proves movement is essential for the healthy development of kids.

(Source: Arkansas Children’s Hospital)