A new report released by the widely-respected Institute of Medicine on Thursday recommends that schools provide students at least an hour of physical activity each day and that the U.S. Department of Education designate physical education as a core subject.
The report, called “Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School,” noted that only about half of children and youth meet the recommended daily minimum of 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.
To help kids reach those levels, it recommended a “whole-of-school” approach, which would require involvement by teachers, principals, administrators, students and parents, as well as changes to the environment inside and outside the school building.
The report recommended that elementary school students get a half hour of physical education each day and that middle and high school students get 45 minutes of physical education each day. Students would also get other opportunities for physical activity through recess, exercise in the classroom, school-sponsored sports and active commuting to school.