While parents send their children to school to get a well-rounded education, many are concerned about the level of physical activity that kids get throughout the average week. In fact, a new study from NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard School of Public Health found about one-quarter of more than 1,300 parents of public school children in grades K-12 believe schools don’t pay enough attention to physical education. In addition, 28 percent of respondents would give a C, D or F to their kids’ school when it comes to the allocation of time to educate about the importance of being active.
Schools need to do a better job
What may be the most startling statistic determined in the study is that 68 percent of parents said their children’s schools do not provide daily physical education classes. Some schools are simply ignoring the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, which recommend for them to have daily physical education classes.
“Experts recommend that high school and middle school students get 225 minutes of physical education per week during the school year, but in fact many don’t get that much,” said Dwayne Proctor, who directs the childhood obesity team at the RWJF. “Parents should let their state boards of education and their local school districts know that they want more PE for their kids, and encourage state and local policymakers to provide the necessary resources for full implementation.”
Parents have to take matters into their own hands
With fewer than half of children in the United States getting the recommended 60 minutes of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, or even 150 to 225 minutes of physical education per school week, it is up to parents to ensure their kids are keeping their bodies healthy. By getting children involved in something they like to do, it’s much easier for them to get the appropriate amount of exercise on a daily basis.
Dr. Jim Marks, director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC, said it is the responsibility of parents to reinforce a physically active lifestyle for their children. This is why it may be a good idea to get children involved in Tae Kwon Do or Karate classes. Martial arts training not only gives children a place to exercise, but they can also meet a lot of new friends along the way.