Physical activity (PA) provides numerous physiological and psychosocial benefits. However, lifestyle changes, including reduced PA opportunities in multiple settings, have resulted in an escalation of overweight and obesity and related health problems. Poor physical and mental health, including metabolic and cardiovascular problems is seen in progressively younger ages, and the systematic decline in school PA has contributed to this trend. Of note, the crowded school curriculum with an intense focus on academic achievement, lack of school leadership support, funding and resources, plus poor quality teaching are barriers to PA promotion in schools. The school setting and physical educators in particular, must embrace their role in public health by adopting a comprehensive school PA program. We provide an overview of key issues and challenges in the area plus best bets and recommendations for physical education and PA promotion in the school system moving forward.
- Physical activity
- Physical education