Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) recommends that all PK-12 schools implement a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program.
Schools play an important role in public health, and the physical, mental, and social benefits of regular physical activity for youth are well documented. Leading public health, medical, and educational organizations, including NASPE, have made important physical activity recommendations for school-aged youth (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1997; Kaplan et al., 2005; NASBE, 2000; Pate et al. 2006; U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2000). These recommendations are for children to accumulate at least 60 minutes of physical activity on all or most all days of the week. (CDC, 2001; CSMF/CSH, 2006; Kaplan et al.,2005; Pate et al.,2006; NASPE, 2004; Strong et al., 2005; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2004). In addition to physical activity recommendations, most of these agencies and organizations also include calls for schools to assume strong leadership roles in the education and promotion of physical activity among children (CDC, 1997; Kaplan et al., 2005; Pate et al., 2006; USDHHS, 1996; WHO, 2001). Conclusions drawn from the results of the 2006 School Health Policies and Programs Study (SHPPS) conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include the need to implement a comprehensive approach at the state, district, and school levels to enhance physical education and physical activity in schools (Lee et al. 2007).
In 2004, federal legislation (PL 108-265) was passed which required all districts with federally funded school meal programs to develop and implement wellness policies by the beginning of the 2006-07 school year. The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 directs school districts to set goals for physical activity, nutrition education, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to encourage student wellness. Furthermore, districts are required to engage a wide range of individuals in policy development and to have a plan for measuring policy implementation. Implementation of these wellness plans should result in an increase in school-based opportunities for physical activity.
A Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) encompasses physical activity programming before, during, and after the school day. NASPE recommends that a CSPAP include: quality physical education; school-based physical activity opportunities; school employee wellness and involvement; and family and community involvement.
Quality Physical Education
Quality physical education serves as the foundation of the CSPAP. According to NASPE (2004), a quality physical education program includes:
Daily physical education (at least 150 minutes per week for elementary, and 225 minutes per week for middle/high school)
A curriculum that meets the National Standards for Physical Education
Student assessment aligned with instruction
A certified physical education teacher providing meaningful content through standards-based instruction
A pupil-teacher ratio equivalent to that in the classroom context
Adequate equipment to promote maximum practice time
Research shows that quality physical education programs can contribute to students’ regular participation in physical activity (Fairclough & Stratton, 2005; Luepker et al.,1996; Morgan, Beighle, Pangrazi, in press; NASPE, 2003; Sallis, McKenzie, Alcaraz, Kolody, Faucette, & Hovell, 1997), and can increase student participation in moderate to vigorous physical activity (CDC, 2001). Quality physical education is at the core of a CSPAP because of its role in helping students gain the knowledge and skills to become proficient movers and participants in a lifetime of physical activity (Baranowski et al., 1997; NASPE, 2004). Within the CSPAP, certified physical educators not only teach physical education classes, but also serve as physical activity leaders in their schools and promote physical activity both within and beyond the regular school day.
Reprinted with the permission of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- Child Development Theories
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Social Cognitive Theory
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- Problems With Standardized Testing