NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Durham, NC, United States, 2009/12/31 - Responding to the nation's obesity trends, 12 school districts across the US are implementing a new research-based program to determine if overlooked factors (ex: parent support, skill development, like or dislike of PE) can offer new insights.
Early findings from a new national physical education study demonstrate the predictive relationships between student satisfaction of physical education and recommended health behaviors. These preliminary results of data collected from over 40,000 elementary and secondary students suggest the importance of creating a supportive and personalized experience for all students, not just the athletically included, in physical education programs.
"It appears that much can be done within existing physical education programs to bring about positive obesity-prevention behaviors," said Artie Kamiya, Principal Investigator of the project. "With about 30-40 percent of U.S. schoolchildren now obese, a stronger focus on improving physical education in our nation’s schools needs to be established."
An analysis of data collected from 21,700 surveys of elementary children and 21,941 surveys of secondary school youth indicate that students who find their physical education classes enjoyable and satisfying demonstrate higher levels of physical activity, stronger nutritional behaviors, and have a greater tendency to practice obesity prevention behaviors as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
For example, students who enjoy their physical education classes report more days of physical activity and a reduction of typical sedentary behaviors such as watching TV 3-4 or more hours a day. These same students report higher levels of fruit and vegetable consumption with fewer calories from sugar-added beverages. Additionally, these students reported greater daily milk consumption as well.
Over the next 2-3 years, these school districts will continue to implement a variety of recommendations that include providing a wider variety of physical education choices for students, implementing a K-12 tracking and monitoring system, student fitness centers, and additional staff development for teachers.
"Again, the goal is to increase those positive health behavior changes for all students and to determine if parent support, the implementation of a standardized curriculum, and the introduction of the ability to track students on core physical education standards has the type of impact we hope it will have," said Kamiya.
Name and Contact Person Email at School Districts:
1) Guntersville City Schools, AL - Angie Wolford (angiewolford[.]gcboe.net)
2) New Fairfield Schools, CT - Bill Nemec (wnemec[.]new-fairfield.k12.ct.us)
3) Winston-Salem/Forsyth Schools, NC - Nancy Hoover (NHoover[.]wsfcs.k12.nc.us)
4) Catawba County Schools, NC - Mike Hefner (Mike_Hefner[.]catawba.k12.nc.us
5) West Fargo Schools, ND - Ramona Borke (RBORKE[.]west-fargo.k12.nd.us)
6) Shadyside Schools, OH - Holly Ging (hging[.]comcast.net)
7) Scotia-Glenville Schools, NY - Barb Wurz (BWurz[.]sgcsd.net)
8) Clearwater Schools, KS - Randy Vogel (RVogel[.]USD264.org)
9) Jackson County Schools, NC - Cindi Simmons (csimmons[.]jcpsmail.org)
10) Boaz City Schools, AL - Beth Hayes (bhayes[.]boazk12.org)
11) Union County Schools, NC - Lindsay Jones (lindsay.jones[.]ucps.k12.nc.us)
12) Rowan-Salisbury Schools, NC - Marianne Haywood (haywooml[.]rss.k12.nc.us).