Physical education in school

  • “Eighty per cent of schools provide intramural and interscholastic opportunities for physical activity, but just over half support transportation to support these activities, which may limit participation options for some students. In addition, one-third of schools reported that at least half of the student body participates in activities before and after school, yet only 10 per cent of schools arrange late busing so students can participate in after-school activities, which again limits opportunities for participation” (Active Health Kids Canada, 2007, p.18)
  • “According to the 2005 Survey of Canadian Schools, almost all elementary and middle school students in Canada take at least one physical education class per week: The average is three days of physical education classes per week” (Active Health Kids Canada, 2007, p.18).
  • “In contrast, the CFLRI 2005 Survey of Canadian Schools reports that a significantly lower percentage of high school students take at least one physical education class per week. This is also supported by the SHAPES study,12 which demonstrates a decline in participation in physical education class from grades 9 to 12 in Ontario, as well as by another study that has shown a declining enrolment in physical education beyond the base requirement for graduation” (Active Health Kids Canada, 2007, p.18)
  • The CFLRI 2005 Survey of Canadian Schools reveals movement toward a number of promising practices in relation to social support for physical activity at school:
  • Two-thirds of Canadian schools reported that they have policies or programs that encourage teachers, parents and students to be involved in organizing physical activity events, services and facilities.
  • 72 per cent of Canadian schools reported having integrated physical activity into their lesson plans over the past year.
  • 81 per cent reported that they provide information on opportunities to be physically active at school (through such means as bulletin boards, web pages and public service announcements), while two-thirds provide such information specifically to parents and families of students (e.g. through flyers or newsletters).
  • Almost three-quarters of schools promote community physical activity programs to students and their families.
  • 79 per cent of schools reported having encouraged participation in special physical activity events. (Active Health Kids Canada, 2007, p.19)
  • “only 30 per cent of Canadian schools reported that they provide their students with examples of physical activity drawn from different cultural backgrounds in an attempt to be more inclusive” (Active Health Kids Canada, 2007, p.19). CFLRI 2005 Survey of Canadian Schools
  • “Creative dance increases the physical and psychological wellbeing of adolescents” (Quin et al., 2007, p. 32).
  • “Dancing can bring a wide range of physical and mental benefits:
    • healthier heart and lungs
    • stronger muscles
    • stronger bones and reduced risk of osteoporosis
    • better coordination, agility and flexibility
    • improved balance and enhanced spatial awareness
    • increased physical confidence
    • improved mental functioning
    • increased energy expenditure can help counteract unwanted weight gain” (Arts Council England, 2006, p. 2)
  • “Sport was identified as: 1) being integral to quality education with mandatory physical education recognized in a number of countries as a universal pillar to foster education, health and personal development; 2) improving the health standards of a population; 3) achieving sustainable development; and 4) building lasting peace.” ” United Nations, Achieving the objectives of the United Nations through sport, 2006
  • There is a connection between the second U.N. Millennium Development Goal of achieving universal primary education and the presence physical education and sport in school curriculums. “Sport and physical education are essential elements of quality education.  They promote positive values and skills which have a quick but lasting impact on young people.” United Nations, Achieving the objectives of the United Nations through sport, 2006
  • "Schools must not only provide academic education to prepare our children for future work productivity and performance.  They should also be a most effective vehicles to reinforce a lifetime pattern of healthy eating and exercise." Health Challenge, Executive Summary, 2006
  • Healthy behaviours including regular physical activity that begin at a young age and continue throughout life are important to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. ( Connelly, 2005Interventions Related to Obesity)
  • “Currently, fewer than one in five (16%) of Canadian schools are providing daily physical education” (The Canadian Population Health Initiative, 2004, p.131)
  • “CAHPERD recommends 150 minutes per week spent in physical education programs to meet standards for Quality Daily Physical Education (QDPE)” (The Canadian Population Health Initiative, 2004, p.131).
::