State laws can strengthen physical education in children, study finds – The Source


The presence and force of state physical education (PE) laws have had a positive impact on physical education attendance as well as the frequency and duration of physical activity throughout the year. day, suggests a new analysis from Washington University’s Brown School in St. Louis.

“We have found that compared to those who reside in states with weak or no physical education laws, students in states with strict physical education laws have an additional 0.2 days of physical education. per week and spend an additional 33.9 minutes participating in physical education classes per week, ”Ruopeng said. An, Associate Professor and first author of the article “State Laws Governance School Physical Education in Relation to Attendance and Physical Activity Among Students in the US: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, published in the March issue of the Journal of Sport . and health sciences.

An also wrote an editorial on politics and physical activity featured in the issue.

Physical activity in children and adolescents has been an indispensable means of preventing childhood obesity and mental illness, An said. Currently, more than three-quarters of children and adolescents in the United States do not reach the guideline recommended daily physical activity level – at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day of the week, he said.

“Meanwhile, nearly half of children and adolescents exceed two hours a day of sedentary behavior,” An said. “The gender disparity is also significant – 28% of boys meet the level of physical activity recommended by guidelines, when only 20% of girls succeed. “

Despite the promising policy effect, state laws requiring participation in physical education have seen a sharp decline by grade level – only 15%, 9%, and 6% of elementary, middle and high school students in the United States. , respectively, are required to follow physical education. classes three or more days a week throughout the school year, An said.

“Our analysis shows that state laws on physical education have affected the physical activity of girls more than that of boys,” he said. boys. “

“Not all laws are born equal,” An said. “Different aspects of state physical education laws tended to affect students’ physical education attendance differently. Parts of the laws could be counterproductive, reducing rather than increasing attendance at physical education schools.

Based on the previous work of An published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, state laws governing EP class time, staffing for EP, joint use agreement for the Physical activity, health-related fitness assessment, and PE program were all associated with increased weekly PE attendance.

In contrast, state laws governing physical activity time in PE, proficiency in PE, and recess time were associated with reduced participation in PE. “For example, imposing fitness tests could raise concerns and anxiety and reinforce peer pressure and a competitive atmosphere among students. Therefore, some students may choose to skip the PE to avoid the performance review, ”An explained.

An conducts research to assess environmental influences and population-level interventions on lifelong weight behaviors and outcomes. He is an expert in physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle.

A total of 17 studies were included in the review, and five contributed to the meta-analyzes. Eight used nationally representative school or student level data; three focused on multiple states; and the remaining six examined PE laws from a single state.

An and his co-authors, Jianxiu Liu and Ruidong Liu of Tsinghua University in China, found that some states have exemptions from policies that can exempt children from attending school.

“Some of these policy deviations could compromise students’ participation in physical education and their level of physical activity in school,” An said. “Based on the available evidence, states should implement strong evidence-based physical education laws to increase physical education attendance and promote physical activity engagement among students. “

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