Remember, physical education (PE), the best time of the school day, aside from recess? PE is not just for kids anymore. A person's age has been shown to be inversely correlated with their amount of physical activity. That is, as a person gets older, the less they participate in physical activity.
A report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds that in 13 states more than 30% of the adult population is obese and 41 states in which 25% of adults are obese. Every state in the U.S. had adult obesity rates above 20%. Maryland’s rank was 26th when compared to other state obesity rates; 63.8% of the Maryland population was reported as being overweight or obese, and 23.1% as physically inactive.
This is due to an increase in sedentary behaviors in the classroom, workplace, and home. Electronics and associated technology have encouraged persons to spend longer time periods in front of a screen (i.e., television, computer, cell phone) and less time engaged in physical activity. Passive modes of transportation (e.g., cars or mass transportation) versus active modes of transportation (e.g., walking or biking) also contribute to physical inactivity.
Increasingly, more employers are incorporating PE into the workplace. Evidence of physical education's positive effects is supported in the literature. One study reported that a workplace intervention program was influential in reducing systolic blood pressure and resting heart rate and increased knowledge of healthly eating choices.
Through the evaluation of a workplace physical activity intervention program at Home Depot, researchers of another study found the program significantly increased moderate and vigorous physical activity and lowered overall weight among involved employees. Employers are also seeing benefits through decreased absences, lower healthcare costs, and more engaged employees? Does your workplace offer PE? Tell us about it in the comment section!