Over the last two decades, the rates for overweight children have doubled, meaning that one-third of all children in the United States today are overweight. Obesity increases an individual’s risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke and many other chronic illnesses and leads to higher health care costs. One important way to prevent obesity is to increase physical activity. Schools can play a critical role in increasing physical activity by offering quality, daily physical education and other opportunities to recreate. Physical education not only gives children an opportunity to be active but it teaches them the skills they need to be active throughout their lifetime. Investing in quality physical education in all schools for all grades is a logical and important step toward improving the health of the next generation. That’s why the American Heart Association is working in every state and at the federal level to advocate for policies that will increase access to quality physical and health education in schools, boost children’s physical activity levels, and help kids make healthy food choices.
Several local schools recognize the benefits, for both the body and the mind, of physical movement throughout the school day. Read how teachers are being creative in incorporating quick activity breaks into their classrooms. For more on this story, CLICK HERE.