Focus on Fitness at Park Brook Elementary is based upon research.  Below you will find different articles and videos that explain why Park Brook Elementary has a Focus on Fitness initiative. 

Push-Ups and Heart Health

Students at Park Brook are assessed on their fitness scores.  This article discusses the relationship between push-ups and heart disease.  While the research is based upon men in their 30’s and 40’s, one could look at the fitness levels earlier in life, that set the stage for an individual to be able to do 40 push-ups.  Above 40 push-ups the probability of a heart related issue in the next 10 years is greatly reduced; under 10 push-ups when in your 30’s and 40’s, and the probably is greatly increased.

We encourage students to practice 10 push-ups and 10 sit-ups every day at home.

Men and Push-Ups Study

Distance Learning and Physical Fitness Physical education is essential to increase academic growth, not only when in the physical school building, but also during the days when we are responding to the pandemic.  Get Moving during Distance Learning


Stability balls, Kore Stools, and Hokki Stools are used instead of traditional chairs at Park Brook Elementary. Some research indicates about a 10% increase in brain activity while sitting on a stability seat.  This article by Amy Occhipinti discusses four benefits of sitting on a stability ball.  Click here to read the article.

Focus on Fitness—Academics: Park Brook Elementary approaches education differently than many schools with the Focus on Fitness initiative.  The purpose is to increase academic growth and positive behaviors.  Sarah Messiah, Ph.D., MPH, is a research associate professor of pediatrics and co-director of the Division of Community-Based Research and Training at the Mailman Center for Child Development at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, wrote this article for the Miami Herald discussing physical activity and academic growth.  Click here to read the article.

Dad’s and Fitness:  While the Focus on Fitness initiative is primarily focused on students, increasing fitness is beneficial for all.  While this article is based upon research from Australia, the results are important for all, and most likely would be true for students as well. This article addresses heart disease, depression and obesity in men. The article states, “Exercise would be the most widely prescribed medication on earth if it could be condensed into a pill.”  Obesity and depression are factors in heart disease for men.  By exercising just one hour per week, symptoms of depression decrease; it appears that additional exercise continues to reduce the symptoms of depression.  Click here to read the article.

ADHD and Exercise!  This article, with links to other articles regarding ADHD, highlights the importance of exercise for those with ADHD.  Exercise benefits all individuals by increasing our ability to focus, learn, and so on, in addition, for those with ADHD exercise is essential to assist them with focusing and regulating their bodies.  Click here to read the article.

Exercise, sleep and ADHD:   Whether or not your child has ADHD, the information in this article can benefit any child. Click here to read the article.

Movement in the Classroom:

Why Kids Shouldn’t Sit Still in Class, a recent article in the New York Times highlights the need for students to move and be physically active.  One of the key researchers quoted in the articles states, ““Daily physical activity is an opportunity for the average school to become a high-performing school.”  Click here to read the article.

Move over, 'sit still'! Why kids need to move in school  This article/video highlights a school in Alexandria, Virginia.

Exercise and Leadership:  At the end of each year, each 5th grade class plants a tree, and one of the symbols of the trees for Park Brook is that the trees help create a more beautiful community, and in the same way, wherever life’s journey takes Park Brook Students, their lives should make their communities a better place.  Exercise and Leadership

Brain Rules by Dr. John Medina.  Two short videos are below that help summarize the work by Dr. Medina.  A number of staff members at Park Brook have read his book. 

When you walk through Park Brook you will notice the stability balls, Hokki Stools and students moving in classrooms.  The brain research is why we offer Morning Move, Boot Camps and other fitness opportunities for students.

Video 1:  Dr. Medina's Brain Rule #1

Video 2: Dr. Medina interview


1st Grade Boys & Reading:  The link is to an article about the benefits of movement for first-grade boys....the more they move, the better they do in reading in 2nd and 3rd grades.  Click HERE for the article link.

Teens and Depression:  Research indicates that increasing exercise (movement) is important for teens to assist with depression.  Please click here to read more information regarding teens and depression.  While this article focuses on teens, the findings can be applied to other age groups as well. Teens and Depression


Stress/mood and exercise:  Exercise is one way to manage stress.  Click here to read more information on ways to reduce stress through exercise. Article 1--Stress and Exercise  Article 2--Stress and Exercise

School Info

Park Brook Elementary
7400 Hampshire Ave N
Brooklyn Park MN 55428

School Hours
8:50 am - 3:20 pm
Office Hours
7:30 am - 4:00 pm


Phone & Fax

School Office

General Fax 

School Leadership

Scott Taylor