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Prev Med. 2017 Feb;95:82-88. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.12.008. Epub 2016 Dec 13.

Energy expenditure estimates during school physical education: Potential vs. reality?

Author information

1
San Diego State University, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-7251, United States. Electronic address: dkahan@mail.sdsu.edu.
2
San Diego State University, School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182-7251, United States.

Abstract

Schools are salient locations for addressing the high prevalence of overweight and obesity. Most US states require some physical education (PE) and the energy expended during PE has potential to positively affect energy balance. We previously used 2012 data to examine state policies for PE to calculate estimated student energy expenditure (EEE) under potential (i.e., recommendations followed) and existing conditions. Since then, data have been updated on both state policies and the conduct of PE. Based on updated data, we used PE frequency, duration, and intensity, student mass, and class size to calculate EEE for the delivery of PE under (a) national professional recommendations, (b) 2016 state policies, and (c) school-reported conditions. Although increased from four years ago, only 22 states currently have policies mandating specific PE minutes. EEE over 10years shows the enormous impact PE could have on energy balance. For the average recommended-size PE class, resultant annual EEE based on professional recommendations for min/week far exceeded those based on average state (n=22) policy for min/week by 44.5% for elementary, 62.7% for middle, and 59.5% for high schools. Since 2012 more states adopted policies for PE minutes than dropped them, however, EEE over 10years showed a net loss of 1200kcal/student. With no overall recent improvements in state PE policy and professional recommendations currently not being met, PE remains an underutilized public health resource for EEE. Strong policies, coupled with enhanced accountability of PE teachers and administrators, are needed to ensure PE exists in schools.

PMID:
27979706
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.12.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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