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Educating the Student Body

Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School

Editors: Harold W. Kohl, III and Heather D. Cook. Authors: ; ; .

Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); .
ISBN: 0-978-0-309-28313-7ISBN-10: 0-309-28313-2

Physical inactivity is a key determinant of health across the lifespan. A lack of activity increases the risk of heart disease, colon and breast cancer, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, osteoporosis, anxiety and depression and others diseases. Emerging literature has suggested that in terms of mortality, the global population health burden of physical inactivity approaches that of cigarette smoking. The prevalence and substantial disease risk associated with physical inactivity has been described as a pandemic.

The prevalence, health impact, and evidence of changeability all have resulted in calls for action to increase physical activity across the lifespan. In response to the need to find ways to make physical activity a health priority for youth, the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment was formed. Its purpose was to review the current status of physical activity and physical education in the school environment, including before, during, and after school, and examine the influences of physical activity and physical education on the short and long term physical, cognitive and brain, and psychosocial health and development of children and adolescents.

Educating the Student Body makes recommendations about approaches for strengthening and improving programs and policies for physical activity and physical education in the school environment. This report lays out a set of guiding principles to guide its work on these tasks. These included: recognizing the benefits of instilling life-long physical activity habits in children; the value of using systems thinking in improving physical activity and physical education in the school environment; the recognition of current disparities in opportunities and the need to achieve equity in physical activity and physical education; the importance of considering all types of school environments; the need to take into consideration the diversity of students as recommendations are developed.

This report will be of interest to local and national policymakers, school officials, teachers, and the education community, researchers, professional organizations, and parents interested in physical activity, physical education, and health for school-aged children and adolescents.

Contents

This study was supported by Grant No. 69449 between the National Academy of Sciences and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the organizations or agencies that provided support for the project.

Suggested citation:

IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2013. Educating the student body: Taking physical activity and physical education to school. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

Copyright 2013 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Bookshelf ID: NBK201500PMID: 24851299DOI: 10.17226/18314

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