C: APPROPRIATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
FOR CHILDREN: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
including information from the Surgeon General's Report on
Physical Activity and Health, has documented the health benefits
of regular physical activity. The report also indicates that
Americans become increasingly less active with each year of
age. Inactivity among children has now been linked to sedentary
living among adults. For this reason efforts to promote active
lifestyles among children have been targeted by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as other groups
interested in the health and well-being of all Americans. To
help health professionals effectively promote physical activity
early in children's lives, developmentally appropriate guidelines
for activity of elementary school children are outlined below.
school age children should accumulate at least 30 to 60 minutes
of age- and developmentally appropriate physical activity
from a variety of physical activities on all, or most, days
of the week.
- An accumulation
of more than 60 minutes, and up to several hours per day,
of age- and developmentally appropriate activity is encouraged
for elementary school age children.
- Some of
the child's activity each day should be in periods lasting
10 to 15 minutes or more and include moderate-to-vigorous
activity. This activity will typically be intermittent in
nature involving alternating moderate-to-vigorous activity
with brief periods of rest and recovery.
periods of inactivity are inappropriate for children.
- A variety
of physical activities selected from the Physical Activity
Pyramid are recommended for elementary school children.
Important Activity Concepts for Children
are not small adults, activity recommendations should be based
on the characteristics of children. Several important concepts
outlining the unique characteristics of children are described
and provide the basis for recommendations in this report (for
more details see the comprehensive report).
for Promoting Physical Activity in Schools & Physical Education
time for activity in the school setting
- Expose youngsters
to a variety of physical activities
- Focus instructional
feedback on process, not product
to teach physical skills
- Be an active
- Care about
the attitudes of students
- Teach positive
approaches to lifetime activity
activity outside the school environment
lifetime activities that endure
Adapted, with permission, from Physical Activity for Children:
A Statement of Guidelines, p. 3. ©1998, National Association
for Sport and Physical Education.