The average school year for students in grades K-12 consists of 180 days, with an average of 7 hours per day. Seven hours per day multiplied by 180 days per school year totals to 1,260 hours per school year. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) recommends that children and adolescents spend 60 minutes per day engaging in physical activity that are muscle and bone strengthening (The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, AAHPERD, 2013). From the 1,260 hours that a child spends in their school setting, 180 of these hours are recommended for engagement in physical activity. Since outside of the home a child spends majority of their time in school, teachers and administrators are fundamental people in the child’s life. They provide the knowledge that will effect the future decisions of the children. For this reason, they are responsible for setting examples, outside of the home, as to what is expected of the child.
Physical activity is essential in developing an overall healthy life for everyone, including school-aged children. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, physical activity is a determinant to building and maintaining healthy bones and muscles, while also improving social and mental health status of the child. The prevalence of childhood obesity is on the rise and daily physical activity in children has been proven to be effective in preventing childhood obesity and reducing the risks factors. Research evidence also indicates that physical activity can improve academic achievements in grades and standardized test scores.
Psychological research suggests that role modeling has an immense impact on the behavior of children. Since teache...
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...s reason, it is very important to advocate healthy lifestyles that will continue as they the child matures.
Activities such as brisk walking, jogging and jumping rope are already included in recess time. But, recess does not provide enough time to fulfill the 60 minutes recommended by the USDHHS. In order to complete the 60 minutes, several other intervals during the school day is necessary to promote physical activity. Adding activities during transitions between projects and coursework is another method to include physical activity during the school day. Since children usually begin to feel tired as the day progress, physical activities that increase heart rate during different intervals of the day will improve muscle and bone strength. As a result, excess fat will not accumulate and cause weight gain. Instead, daily physical activity will help to maintain weight.
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