ence physical activity and physical education in the school environment. To frame its deliberations, the committee drew on its conceptual framework (see Figure 1-4 in Chapter 1) and closely examined the evidence base (see Appendix B for additional detail on the study methods).


The committee formulated recommendations in six areas: taking a whole-of-school approach, considering physical activity in all school-related policy decisions, designating physical education as a core subject, monitoring physical education and opportunities for physical activity in schools, providing preservice training and professional development for teachers, and ensuring equity in access to physical activity and physical education.

Taking a Whole-of-School Approach

Recommendation 1: District and school administrators, teachers, and parents should advocate for and create a whole-of-school approach to physical activity that fosters and provides access in the school environment to at least 60 minutes per day of vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity more than half (>50 percent) of which should be accomplished during regular school hours.

  • School districts should provide high-quality curricular physical education during which students should spend at least half (>50 percent) of the class time engaged in vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity. All elementary school students should spend an average of 30 minutes per day and all middle and high school students an average of 45 minutes per day in physical education class. To allow for flexibility in curriculum scheduling, this recommendation is equivalent to 150 minutes per week for elementary school students and 225 minutes per week for middle and high school students.
  • Students should engage in additional vigorous- or moderate-intensity physical activity throughout the school day through recess, dedicated classroom physical activity time, and other opportunities.
  • Additional opportunities for physical activity before and after school hours, including but not limited to active transport, before- and after-school programming, and intramural and extramural sports, should be made accessible to all students.

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