HOW MUCH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DO YOUNG PEOPLE NEED?

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The physical education component is one of the eight components in the Coordinated School Health Program model. It consists of a K-12 curriculum that provides instructions that promote lifelong safe physical activity. The curriculum is designed to develop basic movement skills, sports skills, and physical fitness which would develop each student’s optimum physical, emotional, mental, and social development. Examples of activity areas include: tumbling and gymnastics, aquatics, games, rhythms, and dance, and enhance social and emotional abilities. Qualified and trained teachers teach physical activities.

HOW MUCH PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DO YOUNG PEOPLE NEED?

Young children and teens should be encouraged to select activities they enjoy, that also fit into their daily lives. These activities will be beneficial if they can be incorporated into their daily routines, and performed at a moderate pace. Here are some examples of moderate activities:

Walking two miles in 30 minutes, or running 1 1/2 miles in 15 minutes.

Bicycling five miles in 30 minutes or four miles in 15 minutes.

Dancing fast for 30 minutes, or jumping rope for 15 minutes.

Playing basketball for 15 to 20 minutes, or volleyball for 45 minutes.

WHY SHOULD KIDS BE ENCOURAGED TO BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE?

Regular physical activity in young children and teens:

improves strength, endurance, and coordination

helps build healthy bones and muscles

helps control weight

increases self-esteem and confidence

reduces anxiety and stress

may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels

may promote maintenance of physical activity as young children and teens grow older

CDC’S 10 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ENSURING QUALITY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY PROGRAMS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

1. Establish policies that promote enjoyable lifelong physical activity

Schools should require daily physical education and comprehensive health education (including lessons on physical activity) in grades K to 12.

Schools and community organizations should provide adequate funding, equipment, and supervision for programs that meet the needs and interests of all students.

2. Environment

Provide physical and social environments that encourage and enable young people to engage in safe and enjoyable physical activity.

Provide access to safe spaces and facilities, and implement measures to prevent activity-related injuries and illnesses.

Provide school time, such as recess, for unstructured physical activity, such as jumping rope.

Discourage the use or withholding of physical activity as punishment.

Provide health promotion programs for school faculty and staff.

3. Physical Education Curricula and Instruction

Implement sequential physical education curricula and instruction in grades K to 12 that:

Emphasize enjoyable participation in lifetime physical activities such as walking and dancing, not just competitive sports.

Help students develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle.

Follow the National Standards for Physical Education.

Keep students active for most of the class time.

4. Health Education Curricula and Instruction

Implement health education curricula that:

Feature active learning strategies and follow the National Health Education Standards.

Help students develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

5. Extracurricular Activities

Provide extracurricular physical activity programs that offer diverse, developmentally appropriate activities – – noncompetitive and competitive – – for all students.

6. Family Involvement

Encourage parents and guardians to support their children’s participation in physical activity, to be physically active role models, and to include physical activity in family events.

7. Training

Provide training to enable teachers, coaches, recreation and health care staff, and other school and community personnel to promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity to young people.

8. Health Services

Assess the physical activity patterns of young people, refer them to appropriate physical activity programs, and advocate for physical activity instruction and programs for young people.

9. Community Programs

Provide a range of developmentally appropriate community sports and recreation programs that are attractive to all young people.

10. Evaluation

Regularly evaluate physical activity instruction, programs, and facilities.

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