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Tennis Great's Mom Takes Stand For P.E. In School

Tennis Great's Mom Takes Stand For P.E. In School

"A Generation Less Fit & Healthy Than Their Parents"

SILVER SPRING, MD – September 30, 2014 – Judy Murray, the mother and coach of tennis great Andy Murray, is so concerned about the fitness levels of today’s school-age children that she feels that they need P.E. for homework.  The results of a recent study by Ukactive, which represents the health and fitness industry in the UK, reveal that British children are “less fit and healthy” than their parents.

The results of the study – Start Young, Stay Active -- were eye-opening as the study discovered that more than 10% of British children are categorized as obese and another 20% have low fitness levels.

In the foreword of the report, Murray stated that Britain has a “generation who are growing up less fit and healthy than their parents.”  

Murray indicates that sedentary lifestyles are a major cause for concern.

“Modern diets and the multitude of sedentary activities that kids are used to certainly do not help, but it is the fact that children are not developing the basic aptitudes for sport and exercise that is the most worrying thing for me,” states Murray.

The landscape for P.E. in schools in the U.S. is not much better:

  1. Only six states require PE in every grade: IL, HI, MA, MS, NY, VT
  2. Only three states require schools to provide the nationally recommended 150 minutes of P.E. per week for elementary schools: NJ, LA, FL
  3. Only three states require the nationally recommended 225 minutes of P.E. per week in high school:  WV, UT, MT
  4. 28 states allow exemptions and waivers from P.E.

One of the best ways to reverse this ‘inactivity pandemic’ is to encourage parents to take a more active role in their children’s activity levels.

“It is vital that parents encourage and foster an environment where activity is considered important, but it is also vital for schools, sports providers and authorities to give parents the tools they need to instigate this process,” says Murray.  “It should be a national priority to re-embed children’s physical literacy into the consciousness of parents in the same way they would monitor their children’s homework.”

Murray’s opinions are drawing support here in the U.S. – from both academia and PHIT America.

"P.E. for homework would be a powerful statement about the true value of 
physical education," says Greg Prange, principal, Seymour High School, Seymour, Indiana.  "It would create healthy activity habits that would generate health dividends for years to come.  This concept is a brilliant idea.  We actually do some P.E. homework.  The amount of required PE in schools is decreasing as the amount of time spent riding bikes and playing outside has decreased.”

"The concept of getting students to focus on physical activity while at home on a daily basis will reinforce the importance of a steady diet of activities in their lives," says Wayne Ryan, assistant principal and athletic director at Summers County HS in Hinton, West Virginia.  "This concept is long overdue."

“The foundation for a physically active lifestyle is P.E. in schools on a daily basis,” says Jim Baugh, founder of PHIT America.  “The results are transformational.”

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