Recess and physical education are integral parts of a child's education, each providing its own unique benefits. That's why the American Heart Association is excited Florida legislators have the opportunity to add free-play recess to our elementary students' school day. But not at the expense of removing Physical Education, which is what some lawmakers are debating.
It's important to remember that physical education is more than physical activity. Through effective physical education, children learn how to incorporate safe and healthy activities into their lives that benefit them well into adulthood.
Did you know:
- Physical education improves the entire school day. We know that PE can help kids be more active and that active kids do better in class. Eliminating daily PE programs limits the amount of physical activity our children get during the day and can have lasting impacts on their mental and physical health.
- When children get more time for physical education, they do better physically, mentally, and emotionally, which is good for schools too. Quality PE programs help make sure that our children are on their way to a healthier future. Physical activity can have a positive impact on cognitive ability, help kids avoid tobacco, and reduce their risk for insomnia, depression, and anxiety. Active kids also learn better.
- Physical education addresses the needs of the whole child. Quality physical education programs provide the activity kids need for a positive impact on their physical, mental, and emotional health. They also improve judgment, reduce stress, and increase self-esteem. Making sure all students are getting physical education is a critical part of keeping kids healthy.
Recess is a great complement to Physical Education. A daily 20-minute recess period is proven to foster multiple critical components of healthy childhood development, including lifelong skills relating to communication, negotiation, cooperation, sharing, problem solving, and coping. These skills are not only foundations for healthy development but more predictive of future success than any other measure.
Join the American Heart Association today in protecting Physical Education in Florida!