A new report from the non-profit Rhode Island KIDS COUNT is suggesting ways to get students more active in school.
The use of comprehensive school physical activity programs (CSPAP) stands at the center of the recommendations. These programs seek high involvement from parents and staff to incorporate physical activity in students’ lives.
CSPAPs provide more professional development opportunities for physical education teachers and additional PE time. Additional activity is also recommended before and after school as a possible elective.
Staff is encouraged to get creative about exercise in the classroom. Most notably, using nontraditional seating for children, like pedal or ball chairs.
Currently, the state of Rhode Island requires students to receive health and PE instruction for a combined average of 20 minutes a day. That requirement is recent, a result of the Free Play Recess Act, passed by the General Assembly in 2016.
The national recommendation for physical activity, however, is 30 minutes of PE time alone and that’s for elementary school students. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ recommendation for students in high school is 45 minutes.
The KIDS COUNT recommendations come as national health officials report obesity among children as having tripled in the last four decades.