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When it comes to kids and exercise, schools need to step up and focus more on quality as well as quantity. And, says Dr. Gregory D. Myer they need to promote activities that develop motor skills, socialization and fun.
Meyer is one of the authors of a recent paper and commentary on children and exercise. He's also director of the Human Performance Lab and director of research at the Division of Sports Medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Like others, Meyer notes that when it's time to trim the budget, PE, art and music classes are often the first to go. While he's certainly distressed by those cuts, he and his co-authors also seek to question the "current dogma that is currently focused on the quantitative rather than qualitative aspects of physical activity" programs for youth.
Meyer helped develop exercise guidelines for youth aimed at reducing sports-related injuries and promoting health. The guidelines call for greater focus on short, interval-like bursts of activity interspersed with rest. It includes core strength building, resistance training, agility and more.
School recess time has been cut in many districts. As we've reported, some schools are pushing back on that and others are getting creative to fill the void. According to a 2013 poll NPR conducted in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, 56 percent of parents say their elementary school kids are getting just one or two days of physical education a week.
Source: NPR (blog)