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Physical Education Often Neglected, Study

Physical Education Often Neglected, Study

(ePharmaNews) – Despite the increased interest in developing pre-college educational methods, a very important component still lacks enough interest: physical education. A new study from the United States shows that most schools in the United States are not offering children the suggested amount of physical education.

Bryan McCullick, a kinesiology professor at the University of Georgia conducted a study that looked at schools in all 50 states and found that only six states follow the recommended physical education guidelines; only two states follow the guidelines at the middle school level, and no states had strong enough regulations at the high school level. A few other states had some form of physical education requirement, but the researchers thought it was not appropriate.

McCullick explains that this lack of interest in physical education is due to fact that schools may be increasing time for other subjects by reducing physical education classes hoping they can raise standardized test scores.

“Physical education is not a measurable outcome,” he says. “Schools say they’d be better off or betterserved, perhaps, in devoting [time] to math and reading instead of physical education.”

Researchers also said that physical education policies are very vague and can easily be misinterpreted: “Ambiguous statutes leave interpretation to educators and school boards, two groups that may be ill-equipped to make sense of the law,” researchers wrote.

The National Association of Sport and Physical Education has guidelines for the time required for physical education: 150 minutes per week for elementary school children and 225 minutes per week for middle and high school students.

However, the main concern is that people cannot differentiate between physical education and physical activity, according to McCullick.

“You could put kids on a treadmill for 45 minutes a day and have them walk … they would get their recommended amount of exercise,” he says. “That doesn’t mean they’re going to know how to be physically active after they’re not mandated to do that anymore”

He also says physically active kids are more likely to succeed in school.

“The notion that kids who are unhealthy are going to be able to learn better is pretty flawed,” he says. “It makes sense to have kids who are physically educated. The chances of them performing better on standardized tests are probably higher.

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Prepared by: Hasan Zaytoon

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