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Students Need More Physical Activity

by Pamela M. on Friday, May 24, 2013

According to a recent report by the Institute of Medicine, students spend too little time engaged in physical activity at school.  We couldn't agree more!  The American Heart Association has long been an advocate of increasing opportunities for students to be physically active.  Those opportunities can include before and after school programs, participating in intramural and extramural sports, and walking/biking/skateboarding to and from school.

The report also recommends kids do vigorous or moderate-intensity activity for at least 60 minutes per school day through a combination of recess, P.E. and other classes and before-and-after school activities.

Including physical activity in a daily routine, beginning with childhood, can help to curb obesity and the related heart care concerns, such as cardiovascular disease and stroke.  However, according to the South Dakota's 2011 Risky Behavior survey, only 49 percent of students say they were active for the recommended minimum of 60 minutes a day of vigorous activity at least five of the previous seven days; the number was 60 percent for boys and 37 percent for girls. One-third said they were enrolled in a P.E. class at the time.

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