School Policies on Physical Education and Physical Activity
The Challenge: Regular physical activity can reduce children’s risk of obesity and improve their classroom performance, but many schools provide few opportunities for students to be active.
Make an impact: Schools can provide excellent opportunities for children to be physically active, including through physical education, regular recess, and access to physical play and exercise spaces during non-school hours and in the summer.
What the findings are about: This synthesis summarizes the substantial and growing body of evidence about different ways to promote children’s physical activity in schools.
- Regularly scheduled physical education programs that include the use of standardized curricula, goals for active classes and staff development can result in children who are more physically active.
- Schools can help increase students’ activity levels outside of physical education classes, such as through recess, classroom activity breaks, after-school programs, and joint-use agreements between schools and communities.
- School environments should include safe equipment and multiple supervised facilities that encourage children to be physically active.
- States should require schools to provide children with at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily.
Abbreviated fact sheets are available that highlight the research synthesis' main findings.
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Infographic shows solutions to increase physical activity and improve health through...