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Will increasing physical education and activity in Vermont schools help fight obesity?

by Tina Z. on Friday, October 4, 2013

You bet! Plus kids reap other benefits.

The American Heart Association and many other health organizations are recommending that schools increase the amount of physical education and activity provided during the school day. The Institutes of Medicine has recommended that schools take a “whole-of-school” approach. This would help kids get the 60 minutes of physical activity they need each day.

It means including physical activity in the classroom, recess and breaks; making sure kids get regular physical education that includes physical activity; helping kids to “actively” transport themselves to school; and providing kids with team sports and active after school programs.

The State Board of Education is currently revising the education standards that schools must follow. It needs to hear from parents and others that physical education and activity is critical to kids’ health and academics.

  • With increased physical activity, kids:
  • Think faster
  • Have better recall
  • Perform better

Take a minute to help our kids. Email the State Board of Education via Project Manager, Jill.Remick@state.vt.us. Tell the board you support the AHA’s recommended revisions to the state education standards to:

  • Offer physical education all 4 years for high school.
  • Provide physical education classes at least two days a week and adequate class time – no less than 30 minutes of class time for grades K-2 and no less than 40 minutes for grades 3-12.
  • Require each school to ensure that students in k-12 engage in at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. These could be dispersed throughout the school day.
  • Eliminate exemptions from physical education.
  • Require schools to provide a combination of physical activity and physical education.
  • Require schools to improve opportunities for better nutrition during the school day including offering adequate time to eat meals, scheduling recess before lunch, holding breakfast after the bell, and requiring food service training and certification.
  • Require schools to provide students with free, environmentally friendly access to clean drinking water.

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