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12 March 2008

Stand Up & Learn!

Since the advent of TVs, VCRs and computers, we have seen an increase in anxiety and affective disorders that mirror the ADD / ADHD increase. It’s not just kids – adults have been affected as well. Movement and balance appear to be the key to appropriate brain development. Physical activity and cognition are essentially the same process, as we shall explain later.
We are faced today with children – and grown-ups – who appear unmanageable or unresponsive. They fail in school, can’t sit still, can’t spell and won’t listen. Many parents would prefer that their children not take medications, but are at a loss as to available and effective alternatives.

What makes humans really unique is the fact that we stand upright and the fact that we have a large brain. So our ancestors seven million years ago had this large human brain! But they didn’t speak, they didn’t use tools, they didn’t have complex social groups or families at the time.

Why did they grow a large brain when they really didn’t “need” it? The brain is receptor driven. This means the brain operates and develops in response to stimuli, such as sound, light, pressure and temperature. The majority of these receptors are found in the muscle spindles of the postural muscles, especially the intrinsic muscles of the spine. They are stretch receptors that are stimulated by the effects of gravity, especially by upright movement under gravity. Gravity is the only stimulus that is constant over time. It does not change.

Walking on two feet is very difficult. It takes a lot of balance, coordination, synchronization and timing of muscles. It takes a tremendous amount of motor control to be able to do that. It takes constant output from the brain and constant feedback to the brain. When we are in an upright position these receptors constantly fire back to the brain. They stimulate the brain. It appears that as we stood in an upright position or as we became more and more upright, our brain grew larger and larger in response to this constant stimulus of gravity.

Decreased stimulation from postural muscles to cerebellum and brain, anything that takes us away from standing and being upright, will affect our brain in an adverse way. It will slow down the temporal processing speed of the brain, or parts of the brain, with resulting “clumsiness” and cognitive developmental delays.

For more information on Exergame & Exerlearning products:

Exergame Fitness USA®
“Bringing Exercise & Gaming Together”™

4004 West North Ave.
Stone Park, IL. 60165
office\ 866.245.3036

fax \ 630.282.0482