Mandating physical education in schools

This research brief, the first in a two-part series on physical activity in schools, provides a general overview of physical activity legislation in the states.

The second brief in this series will discuss the different arguments regarding how recess and physical educa- tion should be structured.

Statute (1998) encourages each school district to implement a K-12 program in health education, which should include instruction in physical education.

Mandate: Code 16-40-1 (1975) requires all public and private schools to “carry out a system of physical education,” with the exception of church schools.

But state leaders increasingly The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines recess as “regularly scheduled period in the school day for physical activity and play that is monitored by trained staff or volunteers.” The American Academy of Pediatrics finds recess not only offers physical benefits but cognitive, social and emotional benefits as well.

It gives students the time to play, imagine, think and socialize in ways otherwise not attainable in a classroom.either mandating or encouraging physical education, or PE, or recess.

Over the last 30 years, obesity has tripled among children and youth ages 6-19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Healthy eating and regular exercise play a crucial role in preventing obesity.

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E.) policies and practices and nutrition at their schools. Those states and school districts that followed the guidelines were categorized as “strong”; those that recommended but didn’t enforce the suggestions were classified as “weak.” Most schools fell into neither category because they have no regulations whatsoever, according the research, which was published Monday in the MORE: The Older Kids Get, The Less They Move In the proof-of-human-nature department — unless you’re required to do something, you probably won’t — researchers found that the 4% of schools in the six strong states or districts were nearly three times more likely to meet the 150-minute recommendation.Mandatory Physical Education (PE) is not something new.For decades, states and districts have weighed in on whether to require physical education as part of a school's curriculum.By mandating students to attend PE in order to graduate, students have to engage in healthy physical activity that they otherwise might have avoided.Currently, despite the recommended 60 minutes a day of healthy physical activity, only about half of children meet it.Increased emphasis on test scores has a direct correlation on schools increasing student time in the classroom.The No Child Left Behind, or NCLB, Act of 2002, which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, for example, put pressure on school administrators to improve their standardized test scores each year.Their responses were compared with information collected about state laws and school district policies related to P. In comparison, 17 states and 29% of school districts were considered weak. When it comes to mandatory recess, five states were ranked weak, and 39 had no recess law. Perhaps it’s not surprising that so few schools are embracing the exercise guidelines.Twenty-four states and 67% of school districts had no P. Just 19% of school districts required daily recess, 17% required some recess but less than 20 minutes a day and a full 64% had no recess policy at all. What’s more, researchers found a significant either-or effect: schools that met the recess standards were less likely to meet the P. There are only so many hours in the school day, and budget cuts and increased testing pressure means most schools decide that physical activity isn’t critical.But Sandy Slater, an assistant professor of health policy and administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago, says that’s a mistake.Other studies have identified a link between increased physical activity and academic achievement.

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