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P.E. – America’s Inactivity ‘Killer’ – Is Getting Cheated Again

P.E. – America’s Inactivity ‘Killer’ – Is Getting Cheated Again

Active Kids, Especially Those In PE Classes, Are Better Students Too

SILVER SPRING, MD – June 13, 2016 – Despite the fact there is clear evidence that physical education in schools is America’s best approach to raising active, smart, and healthy children, the state of Illinois is ignoring the evidence and allowing physical education to be cut out of schools throughout the state.

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune reveals that Illinois -- once considered the model state for daily P.E. in school -- is pulling an about face and giving schools waivers on offering daily P.E. to its students.  This is sending a bad lifestyle message to children in Illinois.PE = Less Sedentary

Why? Recent eye-opening research by the Physical Activity Council shows physical education is truly the ‘Inactivity Pandemic’ killer. People who don’t have P.E. are twice as likely to be ‘couch potatoes’ as those who have P.E. in school. And, PHIT America, the national charity that is putting P.E. back in our schools, reports the benefits of P.E. are far greater.

“Active children, especially those in physical education classes, are not only healthier, but are better students, too. Just look at the research. It is conclusive,” says Jim Baugh, Founder of PHIT America. “It is crazy for schools to do this. Don’t schools realize their ‘sit & learn’ approach to education is failing?”

In the Chicago Tribune story, retired physical education teacher Deb Vogel accurately summarizes the issue – both in Illinois and across the U.S.

“Everybody keeps saying that we have an obesity problem, but the fact is, we have a physical inactivity problem, which leads to obesity.”

The trend of taking physical activity out of schools parallels with the childhood inactivity trend. In the most recent kids active to healthy standardsPhysical Activity Council research of 40,000 Americans, the percentage of children (age 6-17) who are active three times or more a week keeps dropping. In fact, nearly two-thirds of all U.S. children today are not active to healthy standards.

This is why PHIT America is so dedicated to rebuilding P.E. programs throughout U.S. schools.  In 2015, PHIT America awarded 156 GO! Grants to elementary school P.E. programs and is getting ready to award a similar number or more this year.

Baugh reflects on the decision on P.E. by the state of Illinois.

“I lived in Illinois for almost 20 years and people always said to me, ‘Doesn’t Illinois require daily PE?’ recalls Baugh.  “I laughed because the laws say one thing, but school administrators found ways to cheat the system. And, here we go again. This is crazy, especially when the research shows that P.E. is the engine that drives all physical PE = Sportsactivity in America.”

This is clearly evident, based on additional research from the Physical Activity Council.  Children who have P.E. are two to three times more likely to be physically active in almost every activity or sport, outside of school.

“If children don’t learn how to throw, catch, run, or jump in school, how confident do you think they will be doing these activities when they get home? When you take P.E. out of the schools, children are not as confident in their physical abilities.  Instead, they will tend to go home, sit on the couch and play with their electronic devices. I wish school administrators would see what they are doing to children. They are hurting them physically and academically by denying them the P.E. experience at school,” concludes Baugh.