Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Lack of physical activity in top 10 children's health concerns list.

Children's lack of physical activity was one of the top 10 health concerns in 2008, according to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.

Accordingly some parents are turning to Kids Fitness Clubs offered through fitness centers and YMCA's. Membership in the Kids Fitness Club costs in the neighborhood of $100 for every eight sessions. It remains to be seen if parents are turning to these pay for service alternatives because of the cut backs in physical education. According to a 2006 School Health Policies and Programs Study conducted by the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 3.8 percent of elementary schools supplied daily physical education or 150 minutes of physical education each week. Some relief from private pay fitness clubs may come from Passage of The FIT (Fitness Integrated with Teaching Kids) Act which is currently being considered by Congress. The act primarily proposes implementation of quality nutritional and organized physical education and physical activity programs in schools.

An opportunity to contact your legislator is underway for those readers interested in supporting the Fit Kids Act (FIT). Link to Legislator and sample letter.

The FIT Kids Act makes sure that parents know about the quality and quantity of physical education in their children’s schools. The Act would further ensure appropriate professional development for health and physical education teachers. And it would fund research to examine the link between children’s health and their academic achievement, and recommend effective ways to combat childhood obesity and improve healthy living and physical activity.

Helpful resources for improving physical education.
Physical Education Program Checklist
Physical Education and California Schools: A Policy Brief

Appropriate Practice For Elementary Physical Education