Reducing Challenging Behaviour In “At Risk” Adolescents with Brain Gym

Recently I have been reading the Teachers Edition of Brain Gym which discusses and teaches the 26 Brain Gym exercises and for those of you who would like to find out more about the article with the same title as that listed above, please click here.

Below are some of the key points that I took from the article:

  • The purpose of the study that this article abstract discusses is to test whether Braing Gym can reduce the frequency of challenging behaviours in “at risk” adolescents.
  • Brain Gym is a series of specific movements to improve the physical skills of learning.
  • Subjects selected for the study were Year 8-10 students who were in a special education tutorial centre in NSW.
  • Brain Gym was implemented at the start of every school day to replace the existing physical activity session that ran for 10 minutes.
  • After one term (10 weeks) of practising Brain Gym, 80%  of students who participated in the program had demonstrated a significant reduction in the frequency of challenging behaviours.
  • In Australia, up to 1 in 3 children and young adolescents suffer from diagnosable mental health problems, including anxiety, behavioural problems, depression, drug and alcohol use and delinquency.
  • Studies have shown there there be a link between improving children’s movement competency and improvement in aspects of behaviour.
  • There have been many studies which show a benefit of exercise for those suffering from depression, stress, anxiety and self esteem issues.
  • Whilst there is often a focus on movement for the younger child, often this changes for adolescents and therefore there is an interest in wanting to find out more with regards to adolescents and learning.
  • Physical exercise and motor experiences are crucial for human development.

On another note – Some Great Stuff By Kelvin Giles & Movement Literacy

Last year I attended one of Kelvin Giles of Movement Dynamics workshops in Melbourne at AAMI park and whilst he is traditionally known as a strength and conditioning/performance coach, he also discussed that he is now taking exercise (his 5 in 5 program) to schools.  He reported that introducing this into the school system and educating teachers (not just physical education teachers) had a positive effect on both students movement competency / capabilities, but also on children’s attitudes and overall wellbeing and success.   For those who would like to read more about this, please click here.  Please click here to read more.  Or here.

So what does this all mean?

As health care practitioners we must and should be encouraging our children and teenagers to keep active across a variety of movement based activities and sports.  Activities must not be specialised and focus on movement variability, learning the basics of movement so to improve their overall movement competency.  Not only will this have a positive impact on their physical self, it will also have a positive effect on their psychosocial health and wellbeing.

About Principle Four Osteopathy

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams at Principle Four Osteopathy.  At Principle Four Osteopath we provide a range of services, including osteopathy manual therapy consultations, functional movement screening, exercise prescription, strength and conditioning and rehabilitation.

Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD and Docklands leading osteopathy clinics.  Both clinics are equipped with training equipment so that we are able to get you actively involved and moving towards a better moving you.

Principle Four Osteopathy CBD clinic is located at 29 Somerset Place, Melbourne 3000.

Principle Four Osteopathy Docklands clinic is located at 717 Bourke St, Docklands, 3008.

Book an appointment online at or call 03 9670 9290.