The C-Fit Interview with Dori O’Brien

Classroom Fitness

How did you come up with the idea for C-Fit? Several years ago, I realized that my students needed more physical activity throughout the day. I began to look around for a fitness program that we could do right in the classroom and couldn’t find anything. I decided to create my own: a fitness program for kids that I would want to play in my own classroom everyday for a quick physical activity break.

Why do you think that fitness important? Children and teens who are fit may have more energy and better focus at school. In addition to play time and sports, children should learn how to take care of their bodies using the skill of fitness. Children need physical activity everyday, even on rainy days, busy days or days when there is no one else around.

What do the kids love about exercise? Exercise feels good! Adults like it because it lifts their mood, sharpens their brain and energizes their body. Children like it because it’s fun. Playing, chasing, climbing, running, dancing…the list goes on. Remember how much fun it was to run as fast you could or jump as far as possible? Children love to challenge themselves and conquer a new feat.

What do like most about C-Fit? C-Fit is simple and quick. I can play the videos on my iPad or Smartboard and supervise the kids for a quick ten-minute break. Sometimes I use it in the morning to wake them up, or after lunch to help them focus again, especially on days when they have indoor recess. Sometimes I’ll sense that their energy is low and they need to move around, or I’ll use it as a little brain break if I sense that they’re becoming mentally fatigued.

Why do you think that C-Fit should be used in schools? Children spend up to half of their waking hours in school and/or some kind of after-school program. This puts the schools in a unique position to have a powerful impact on a child’s health. Health can have a powerful impact on a child’s ability to learn. Fitness should not be thought of as something that is done in addition to academics. It should be an integral part of a school day because it supports learning.

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