Prove it! BOKS Rocks and Gets Kids Fit!

In a recent study published in the Journal of Exercise, Sports, and Orthopedics, Dr. Wayne Westcott has proven what BOKS trainers and volunteers know and experience every day: BOKS gets kids fitter and healthier. Dr. Westcott, a prolific researcher, author, and educator in the field of fitness, studied the physiological impact of a nine-week BOKS program on its participants from the Weymouth Public School District in Massachusetts.

Building on the work of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), which found that BOKS has a significant impact on cognitive performance, nutrition knowledge, and daily physical activity, Dr. Westcott concluded that “The BOKS before-school physical activity program is effective for reducing percent body fat, fat weight, and increasing aerobic performance in preadolescent boys and girls”.

In Dr. Westcott’s study, 81 BOKS participants were evaluated along with 31 control group participants, all in grades K-4. Compared to the control group, BOKS participants significantly decreased body fat percentage and fat weight and significantly improved in aerobic performance, as measured by the 400 meter run, during the course of the nine-week BOKS program. These results stayed true even after statistically controlling for differences between the groups including gender, age, and baseline measurements.

BOKS was inspired by the scientific work of Harvard’s Dr. John Ratey and we continue to ensure that the program remains evidence-based. In the coming year, BOKS will be building upon the research of NIOST, Dr. Ratey, and Dr. Westcott by engaging in a large-scale study with Harvard University to investigate the impact of BOKS on a broad set of psychological, cognitive, social, brain performance, academic and lifestyle health behavior outcomes.

In light of the increasing inactivity trends throughout the United States and the world, it is even more crucial that we continue to instill a love for physical activity in our children. BOKS trainers and volunteers play a significant role by acting as positive role models to get kids moving and having fun. BOKS is in over 1,300 schools, but we aren’t stopping there. The results of Dr. Westcott’s study can easily be replicated in your community by enrolling your school and running the BOKS program!

If you are already running BOKS, please view the study as further evidence to substantiate your amazing hard work and dedication. If you haven’t run BOKS yet, please read the study and feel free to use the information to convince your principal or administrator that BOKS rocks! We have also created a handy one-pager to summarize all of the BOKS evaluations to date. Knowledge is power!