SWU observes National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
“Physical education programs in schools offer the best opportunity to reach all children and teach them the skills and knowledge needed to establish and sustain an active lifestyle,” said Dave Seamans, assistant professor of physical education and recreation. “Quality youth sports programs are another positive, safe and self-enhancing experience that provide important development opportunities for children and youth.”
Quality physical education programs in all K-12 schools provide the foundation for healthy, active lifestyles that support all learning and help ensure success in future pursuits, Seamans said. While families and communities play an important role in the prevention of obesity and other health risks, schools must help children develop the skills, knowledge and confidence necessary to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, he said.
Recent studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the number of overweight children has more than doubled in the last three decades. About 5.3 million, or 12.5 percent, of Americans between the ages of 6 and 17 are overweight or obese. The lack of physical activity among Americans of all ages is very critical, it is considered to be a major health risk factor, Seamans said.
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education believes that every student in our nation’s schools, from kindergarten through grade 12, should have the opportunity to participate in quality physical education. The NASPE contends that it is the role of quality physical education programs to develop health-related fitness, motor skills and knowledge about physical activity for all students so that they can adopt healthy and physically active lifestyles. According to NASPE guidelines, a high quality physical education program includes opportunities to learn, meaningful content and appropriate instruction.