Students not getting enough physical education time, report says

Annie Johnston, WTHI - TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - States are dropping the ball when it comes to preparing students for health futures, according to a new report.

The 2016 Shape of the Nation report shows many states don't meet physical education standards.

The report was released Friday by SHAPE America (Society of Health and Physical Educators and Voices for Healthy Kids,) an initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

While many states have guidance or legislation for physical education, only a handful of states set a minimum amount of time for P.E. participation in elementary and middle schools.

"The benefits of physical education ring clear as a school bell," says Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO. "With effective physical education, we can keep kids' hearts healthy and their minds in gear to do their best at school every day."

Only Oregon and the District of Columbia require the amount of time recommended by national experts for elementary and middle school levels.

The report provides a snapshot of how all states shape up to standards.

National guidelines recommend moderate to intense physical activity for children at least one hour a day.

The State of South Carolina requires students in grades K-5 to take 60 minutes of physical education per week. The state also requires students in grades 6-8 to take physical education but does not require a minimum number of minutes. The state also requires students in high school to earn one credit in physical education to graduate.

You can find the full national report, and state breakdowns on the Shape the Nation website.

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