Do you want to overcome the inactivity pandemic and obesity crisis?
New research by the Physical Activity Council of 40,000 Americans shows children who do not have physical education are more than twice as likely to be totally sedentary outside of school.
And, children who have physical education are two to three times more likely to be play sports and be active outside of school than children without physical education.
“We wonder why children are becoming more and more sedentary and not healthy. Look no further than what has happened to physical education,” said Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America. “About 48% of all high schools have no P.E. today. And, the average school budget for an entire school for P.E. is $764 per year. Schools have cut P.E. and now we are paying the price. You can see that 45.2% of children without P.E. are totally sedentary. And, if you give them any P.E., that number drops to 21.8%. This is dramatic.”
One of the biggest advocates of the importance and value of P.E. is Herschel Walker, the 1982 winner of the Heisman Trophy.
“My life wouldn’t be where it is today without that P.E. class,” Walker said. “P.E. in schools is as important as the other subjects. P.E. needs to be considered a real class. Without it, we are doing a disservice to our children. I’d like to see physical education as a much bigger priority in schools.”
Walker credits his exposure to P.E. as the foundation for his success in life and athletics. He was the valedictorian of his high school class in Wrightsville, Ga.
No matter what the sport or activity, P.E. dramatically increases the likelihood that we will have children and adults playing sports or getting exercise outside of school.
“The research below is very intuitive. Just like a child who learns to read in school, they read outside of school as well,” Baugh said. “When we teach children motor skills, how to be active and play sports, they take those skills and use them for their entire life. P.E. is the grassroots program for all activity in America.”
According to Baugh, Americans can help in many ways. Parents should fight to restore quality P.E. in every school and for multiple days a week. Start a local movement and talk with local P.E. teachers and school administrators in order to tell them you want more P.E. in schools. Next, everyone should advocate and support the PEP Program. PEP, the Physical Education Program, is the only federal support for physical education in the national budget.
Also, advocate now through PHITAmerica.org. PHIT America is also promoting another piece of legislation, the PHIT Act, which will give incentives to Americans to be active, fit and healthy. Supporters of P.E. and active lifestyles are encouraged to use all the research and content on PHITAmerica.org.
“We must turn around the inactivity and obesity crisis and reduce health care costs in America,” Baugh said. “Getting the entire country moving, playing sports and being active is a real solution. And, this new research shows physical education is one of the biggest drivers of activity today and in the future. We can solve this problem and the solutions are clear.”
PHIT America—an educational, advocacy and social media marketing campaign—is designed to reach millions of Americans and create a Movement for a Fit and Healthy America. PHIT America is a not-for-profit corporation started in January of 2013. For more information about PHIT America, visit www.PHITAmerica.org.