Navigation Links
More than one-third of California teens do not participate in school physical education
Date:5/31/2011

Despite a state requirement that public middle and high school students get 400 minutes of physical education every 10 days, approximately 1.3 million more than a third (38 percent) of all adolescents enrolled in California public schools do not participate in any school-based physical education classes, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Research has shown that a lack of physical activity is associated with obesity, diabetes and other chronic conditions, while regular physical activity is associated with increased mental alertness and higher academic achievement.

Cuts to physical education (PE) programs, as well as exemptions that allow high school students to skip up to two years of PE, have contributed to declining participation in these school-based programs, the brief's authors noted. The study found, for example, that the proportion of teens participating in PE drops precipitously with age, from 95 percent at age 12 to just 23 percent at age 17.

Using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), the authors found that only 42 percent of California teens report participating in PE on a daily basis. And more than 80 percent of all teens fail to meet the current federal recommendations for physical activity.

"California teens don't get enough exercise," said Dr. Allison Diamant, a faculty associate with the center and a UCLA associate adjunct professor of general internal medicine and health services, who co-authored the policy brief, "Adolescent Physical Education and Physical Activity in California."

"Physical activity doesn't just keep the body healthy and prevent diabetes and obesity," Diamant said, "it also feeds the mind. Exercise is an education tool."

Diamant noted that PE classes are especially important to urban teens who may lack access to parks or other safe recreational spaces.

"Kids need to move more, and PE class is often one of the few safe places to do so," she said.

Among the study's findings:

Boys exercise more than girls

Participation in PE is higher among boys than girls (66 percent vs. 59 percent). Yet just 25 percent of boys and 13 percent of girls meet the current federal recommendations for physical activity.

School PE linked to higher rates of physical activity

For California adolescents, participating in PE is associated with an additional 18 minutes of physical activity each week, the authors found.

PE participation varies by county

The average number of days that adolescents participate in PE each week varies considerably from county to county, ranging from 1.8 days in Santa Cruz County to 3.8 days in Madera County. The average number of days that teens engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per week ranges from 3.1 days in San Mateo County to 4.7 days in Lake County.

The authors recommend maintenance of existing PE classes and increased funding to ensure that all schools meet statewide PE standards. And although they commend recently implemented legislation that requires students to pass five of the six standards of the California Physical Fitness Test before receiving an exemption from PE, they note that it is important for students to maintain physical activity, even if they do meet these standards.

"Physical fitness is an intrinsic part of the educational process, not something to be sidelined or avoided," said Dr. Robert K. Ross, M.D., president and CEO of the California Endowment, which funded the study. "Our educators need to understand that physical education is just as essential to a student's academic success as reading, writing and arithmetic."


'/>"/>

Contact: Gwen Driscoll
gdriscoll@ucla.edu
310-794-0930
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New lignin lite switchgrass boosts biofuel yield by more than one-third
2. Study finds high mortality of endangered loggerhead sea turtles in Baja California
3. The Marine Mammal Center begins new leptospirosis study in California
4. Expeditions reveal gulf of Californias deep sea secrets, as well as human imprints
5. Forest inventories in California include more than trees
6. California study shows shade trees reduce summertime electricity use
7. Study shows Californias autism increase not due to better counting, diagnosis
8. New version of Google Earth features Californias marine protected areas
9. Methyl bromide alternatives for California strawberry nurseries
10. Nanyang Technological University and University of California, Berkeley pursue research alliance
11. A full-sized California-style home made of bamboo
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/14/2016)... March 14, 2016 NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" ... commerce market, announces the airing of a new series of ... week of March 21 st .  The commercials will air ... popular Squawk on the Street show. --> NXTD ... growing mobile commerce market, announces the airing of a new ...
(Date:3/10/2016)... BLUE BELL, Pa. , March 10, 2016   ... U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is testing ... in San Diego to help identify ... United States . The test, designed to help determine ... outdoor, pedestrian environment, began in February and will run until ...
(Date:3/3/2016)... 3, 2016  FlexTech, a SEMI Strategic Association Partner, ... Research & Development, Leadership in Education, and, in a ... 9 th year of the FLEXI Awards and ... individuals from past years . Judging was done ... set of criteria, by a panel of non-affiliated, independent, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/29/2016)... April 29, 2016 Elekta is ... update to its industry-leading treatment planning software, is available ... Monaco version 5.11 provides significant performance ... calculation speeds up to four times faster than in ... the industry,s gold standard Monte Carlo ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2016 , ... ... made significant investments in recruiting top industry experts, and expanding its LATAM network ... provides industry-leading tools for clients to manage their clinical trial projects. , The ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... screen mobile devices with fingerprint recognition for secure access, voice recognition for hands-free ... few ways consumers are interacting with biometrics technology today. But if they ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... April 27, 2016 , ... ... Lamka, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Lamka will assist PathSensors in ... pathogen detection. , PathSensors deploys the CANARY® test platform for the detection ...
Breaking Biology Technology: