On school days, young adolescents (12 to 16 years) get 55% of their physical activity on school grounds. But recent research suggests that’s not enough.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times (“More exercise at school may be key to improving teens’ health” – December 2015), only 8% of students get the recommended 60 minutes of exercise per day. To make up the difference, “a typical school would need to devote 7.5% of its instructional time to physical fitness,” instead of the 4.8% found to be the average in a recent study published in Pediatrics (“Locations of Physical Activity as Assessed by GPS in Young Adolescents” – January 2016).
“Because adolescents spend so much time at school, even a small increase in the proportion of at-school time spent physically active could lead to meaningful increases in overall physical activity and metabolic health,” the study authors wrote.
So what can you do about it? Talk to your local high school about what hinders them from improving PE programs in their district; it is often correlated to lack of funds in, not just these programs, but sporting programs, in general. Speak to the representatives of your booster club and reach out to alumni of the programs to see if funding can be increased - or take it straight to the devil, himself - city council (for public schools).