Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Kids need more gym class

Sorry for the late posting on this one.
You may have caught some mention late last week of a recommendation for more gym class for kids in schools. It's a report from the non-partisan Institute of Medicine of the National Academies (you can read it online at that link for free).
 In this light, the IOM was asked to examine the status of physical activity and physical education efforts in schools, how physical activity and fitness affect health outcomes, and what can be done to help schools get students to become more active.
The recommendations specifically on physical education are: 
 elementary students engage in 30 minutes of physical activity in gym class daily. High school and middle school students should have 45 minutes of physical education. At least half of these classes should consist of vigorous or moderate-intensity exercise, the IOM said. all cases, daily.
Students in the Worcester Public Schools, K-6, have gym class once a week. In grades 7-12, students have gym on a rotating basis; no student has gym for the full school year.

There's thus a MAJOR difference between our reality on the ground and this recommendation. Any increase here would absolutely require increased funding (and I would expect to hear a request for additional time in the day, too, though I'd rather see us to less of some of what we currently do).

The report further recommends:
children should get more exercise during recess, breaks and classroom exercises as well as in after-school sports, the report said. It advised against revoking recess privileges as a punishment for misbehavior at school.
Absolutely agreed!

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