A Path To Fitter Kids!

Posted 02/05/2013 | By HealthCorps

The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation issued a release last month with some pioneering information on what schools can do to increase children’s physical fitness.

According to the document:

“The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which were issued by the federal government in 2008, recommend that children and adolescents be active for at least 60 minutes per day. But a study published the same year found that only 42 percent of children ages 6 to 11 met that standard and fewer than 8 percent of adolescents did.”

How, then, are we to ensure that children are getting all the activity they need? The recently released study by the RWJF proved that schools can play a large part in helping children meet these guidelines, both by providing daily physical education classes as well as incorporating in-class activity breaks and encouraging active commuting.

Researches provided 9 changes that schools and communities can adopt to increase minutes of activity for children, listed below:

  • Requiring daily P.E.: 23 minutes
  • Providing classroom physical activity breaks: 19 minutes
  • Increasing walking or bicycling to school: 16 minutes
  • Renovating parks to include more equipment and opportunities for activity: 12 minutes
  • Increasing after-school physical activity programs: 10 minutes
  • Standardizing P.E. curricula to increase active time and decrease inactive time: 6 minutes more than traditional P.E.
  • Modifying school playgrounds: 6 minutes
  • Modifying recess to provide more play equipment that encourages physical activity: 5 minutes more than traditional recess
  • Increasing park access: 1 minute

    Hopefully education policy makers are able to incorporate this information into their work. It goes to show that every step counts, literally and figuratively, toward creating healthy person.

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