According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of US adults are considered obese. Obesity is higher among middle age adults ages 40-59 but is still quite common among younger adults under 40 and adults over 60. Childhood obesity has also more than doubled in children. Obesity growth has quadrupled for teens in adolescent years.
This high growth rate of children and teens facing obesity is one of the reasons why the California state Education Code requires schools to provide at least 200 minutes of physical education for every 10 days of class for children in grades kindergarten through sixth. That equates to about 20 minutes of exercise per day (far less than the recommended amounts).
Today, there are 37 California school districts that are being investigated for not abiding by those requirements. These school districts are asking teachers to prove that their students received the mandated amount of physical activity. The lawsuit was originally filed in October stating that the districts are ignoring the law and made claims the the Los Angeles Unified School District may be a more common offender than some of the other districts. It’s important to also note that the obesity rates in the Los Angeles Unified School District tend to be higher than the national average according to a study released in 2012.
Why is this important?
- Physical education in the school system is important for educating children on their health
- Physical education at an early age may help children get the activity they need to stay healthy
- Physical education during childhood may help decrease the growing obesity rate among the youth and prevent obesity into adulthood
- Proper physical education may also decrease health risks later in life that are associated with obesity
Bottom line: Make sure that children are receiving the proper physical education requirements inside and outside of the classroom to prevent health issues later in life.