health care costs; reduce absenteeism and hiring of substitute teachers, improving instruction for students; improve employee morale by demonstrating a commitment to their well-being; create a "multiplier effect" as staff become positive role models for students and reinforce consistent CSHP health-enhancing messages; take advantage of existing school-based facilities and resources; and encourage the school to develop "open-door" policies and become the focus for community-wide health promotion activities.


The two educational components of CSHPs are physical education and health education. In addition, health topics may be integrated into other curricular areas. The following is a brief overview of these educational components; Chapter 3 provides a more in-depth discussion.

Physical Education. Physical education involves a planned, sequential, developmentally appropriate, K–12 curriculum that provides cognitive and affective content and physical activity. Content areas include motor skills; physical fitness; rhythm and dance; games; team, dual, and individual sports; tumbling and gymnastics; and aquatics. Most states mandate the minimum time per week spent in physical education and the number of years that students must be enrolled.

While debate continues over whether the essential purpose of physical education is to teach motor skills or promote fitness, the concept of health-related fitness is emerging to bridge the gap between skills and fitness7 (Simons-Morton, 1992). The focus in physical education is shifting away from competitive sports and athletic performance to cultivating an interest and sense of self-efficacy in physical activities that students can enjoy and pursue throughout adulthood.

Physical activity in youth is associated with higher levels of health and physical fitness, greater resistance toward cigarette and alcohol use, and possibly enhanced academic achievement and cognitive functioning. Physical activity levels tend to decline steadily during adolescence, especially among girls, although how physical activity tracks into an adult life-style is not well understood. It is established, however, that merely engaging in physical activity during youth will not protect against risks brought on by a sedentary life-style as an adult; physical activity must be


The cultivation of finely tuned motor skills does not always translate into overall fitness and desirable health practices—note the physical condition and behaviors of certain highly skilled professional sports figures.

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