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New Survey Reveals Health-Related Fitness as Primary Focus of Middle and High School Physical Education Programs
Date:8/11/2009

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Aug. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- With growing concerns among parents and policymakers about the rise in childhood obesity - heightened by the recent CDC report showing that obesity rose 37% between 1998 and 2006 - approximately two-thirds of middle and high school physical education teachers say that health-related fitness is the primary focus of their programs, according to a new survey conducted by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) and Polar.

The national survey of K-12 physical education teachers revealed that, in contrast to middle and high schools, at the elementary school level, 53% of the programs have an emphasis on motor skills and movement forms. Movement is critical to child growth and development while motor skill competency provides a foundation for successful and enjoyable participation in a variety of physical activities.

"The goal of physical education is to develop individuals who have the knowledge, skills and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of physical activity," said NASPE Executive Director Charlene Burgeson. "Because the role of middle and high schools is to prepare adolescents to make good choices and become responsible adults, the focus on health-related fitness is appropriate and important."

Technology is also playing an important role in today's PE classrooms. According to the survey, 51% of teachers said technology increases student motivation.

"With today's tech-savvy students, incorporating technology, such as heart rate monitors and exergames, into physical education programs is a great way to engage and motivate students," said Jeff Padovan, President, Polar USA. "Technology is also helping teachers and
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SOURCE National Association for Sport and Physical Education; Polar
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