Kids need 60 minutes of exercise a day, new report states

No more skipping gym class, kids.

A report released today by the Institute of Medicine recommends that schools give children the opportunity to exercise for at least 60 minutes a day – no exceptions. Moreover, physical education (PE) should be a core subject, the report stated.

Only about half of the nation's children are getting at least an hour a day of moderate to vigorous activity, the research showed, and school administrators are cutting PE programs in order to make more time for subjects like reading and math. And because kids spend the bulk of their time in classrooms, schools are responsible for helping kids get the activity they need to avoid serious conditions like obesity and diabetes, the report said.

"Schools for years have been responsible for various health programs such as nutrition, breakfast and lunch, immunizations, screenings," Harold W. Kohl III, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas School of Public Health, said in an interview with the Associated Press. "Physical activity should be placed alongside those programs to make it a priority for us as a society."

PE is 'only sure opportunity' for exercise

The report asks that the Education Department recommend that PE become a core subject in schools and demand that schools require a specific amount of time devoted to physical activity. Before- and after-school recess periods should be utilized wisely, the reports states, giving children time to squeeze in several minutes of activity throughout the day – not just in PE class.

The report also recommends that schools not take away recess privileges as a punishment as they give children the time to be physical.

Paul Roetert, CEO of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, said that it's all just a matter of changing priorities.

"We have an obligation to keep kids active," he said in an interview with Fox News. "We have research to show that physical activity helps kids perform better in school. It helps them focus better in the classroom ... and they behave better in school. So there are all kinds of side benefits."

Source: Fox News

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