Elementary Kids Need One Hour of Exercise Daily
Posted May 13, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH — The National Association for Sport and Physical Education says elementary students should spend at least 60 minutes, or preferably several hours a day, exercising. Most elementary schools are already busy trying to prepare students for academics, and don't have much time to focus on exercise.
In an environment where children spend most of their day learning to excel in academics, some schools say it's tough fitting in adequate time for physical education.
"I think it is also important for kids to be well rounded and have outlets other than academics," says Wake County athletics specialist, Bob Guthrie.
On an elementary level, there isn't much time for soccer or baseball. The kids spend 45 to 50 minutes a day in physical education classes.
"The school day is only six and a half hours," Guthrie explains, "so the thing that has to happen is once they leave school, there has to be parental involvement, community involvement or park and rec involvement."
That means parents need to to get their children involved in some kind of sport. Margaret Schrantz says she makes an effort to pick up athletics for her kids on her own.
"Almost every afternoon one of our three children has some kind of activity," Betsy Barnett says. "Either soccer, gymnastics, baseball or tennis-- something to do."
The experts say getting involved now will help your children develop healthier bodies and minds in the future.
The Wake County public school system does have a health advisory council made up of administrators, teachers and parents. It meets once a month to make recommendations to the board of education.