PBS (ended 1980)


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Roomnastics was a children's television program produced by PBS. Each episode was about 15 minutes long and aired during the school day because it was intended for classroom use. The focus was movement: the host led students through a short series of exercises designed to release tension and increase blood flow to the brain. Roomnastics was extremely popular with students and teachers because its exercises required no special equipment or gym clothing and could be safely done even in a cramped classroom. A typical episode included marching single-file around the classroom, marching in place and breathing exercises. Students were also asked to march in a circle around their individual desks, and were lead through a short series of stretches that focused on the back, neck, shoulders and upper arms. The final breathing and "cool down" portion helped the students lower their heart rate and focus their minds before returning to their schoolwork.