With proper education on the importance of regular exercise, healthy children are on the right track to becoming healthy adults. Nonetheless, numerous reports cite drastic cuts being made to Physical Education (P.E.) classes across the United States.
A recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (Feb, 2013) funded by the non-profit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation re-emphasizes the common notion that this is a significant mistake. In the article, researchers report that daily P.E. classes would go a long way in helping children meet U.S. recommendations for physical activity (PA) as it would increase all schoolchildren’s daily activity by approximately 23 minutes. This duration may not seem that significant, but it would actually fulfill more than one-third of the total daily amount of exercise recommended by experts.
The U.S. government's Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans issued in 2008 recommend young people to be active for at least 60 minutes every day. However, research published that same year showed only 42% of children between 6-11 years of age and 8% of teens met that requirement.
In the technology age of today this is no real surprise. However in an effort to make the general public understand the issues stalling progress for P.E. in the United States, the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recently published an eye-catching and easy-to-understand infographic on the disconcerting state of P.E. in schools.
Here are a few alarming statistics presented on the NASPE infographic:
• 28 states allow exemptions and waivers for P.E.
• Only 22 states require schools to allot a specific amount of time for P.E.
• Only 10 states designate specific funding for professional development in P.E.
• Only 6 states require P.E. in every grade
• Only 3 states requires schools to provide the nationally recommended 150+ min/week of P.E. in elementary school
• Only 3 states require schools to provide the nationally recommended 225+ min/week of P.E. in high school
Support schools in keeping these programs in place and help decrease childhood obesity.