Kudos to Steve for asking legislators to care more about kids than themselves or politics. I work on this same issue nationally and believe we need to by pass the bureaucrats and get parents to demand an hour a day for their kids. Children who exercise 1 hour a day which:
• Can improve their academic scores up to 40%
• Disciplinary issues are reduced in the classroom and at home
• Experience less stress, depression, suicide and they sleep better
• Have higher self esteem, are less susceptible to bullying and are less likely to bully
• Healthier children make better food choices
• They will become healthier and more productive members of our society, which will reduce our nation’s health care expense and help the U.S. in a competitive world.
These are all scientifically proven results and can be achieved with virtually no expense to taxpayers. Children can exercise in the classroom-the teacher is already there (no need for new hires) no equipment is needed; existing PE teachers can implement and monitor the program. Teachers who have included 1 hour of exercise in their classrooms report they see the above mentioned results, they accomplish more in the 5 hours of instruction then they ever did in 6 hours without exercise.
Why don’t we do this in every classroom if it’s so productive? 80% of Americans do not exercise to a degree that is of any value to them-teachers included. Teachers who don’t exercise are not likely to promote or include exercise in their classroom even if it is good for the students. What can we do?
Empower the consumers of education, parents, with the information and give them direction and permission to demand change. In America, consumers are the ultimate driver of products and services and we can make this be the case in education too. Stop blaming parents, while it should be their responsibility, parents who don’t exercise are not going to champion exercise in their households. The health of the next generation is societies issue and it’s in the best interest of America to stop pointing fingers. We can educate parents of the benefits mentioned above, and inform them they can demand their children get an hour of daily exercise, recommended by the NIH, in their child’s classroom. When enough parents demand 1 hour of exercise be added to their child’s education – it will happen.
This issue needs the media to be the leader or instrumental in a fundamental shift in the public’s perception of exercise for kids. All that is needed is for influencers to use send out the message within their sphere of influence to educate the consumer.
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