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When it comes to school recess, a quality playground experience matters

Medical X-Press – Staff Writer

“Recess periods can offer physical, cognitive, social and emotional benefits to elementary school children, but those benefits are tied closely to the quality of the playground experience. Playground safety, access to play equipment, peer conflict resolution and quality engagement between adults and students are among the factors that contribute to a quality recess experience, new research from Oregon State University shows.” (more)

Self-defense becoming popular physical education component

Education Dive – Lauren Barack

“Gym teacher Charles Schweizer first launched a five-week mini-course on self-defense in 2001, at the request of his school’s athletic director. The class, which covered practical techniques as well as teaching students how to be aware of their surroundings, clearly had an influence at Hicksville (NY) High School. Today, the course runs a full semester and has 10 sections — enough to make sure the 290 juniors and seniors who signed up this year could enroll.” (more)

‘I forget my PE kit deliberately’ – the boys who hate sport

BBC – Judith Burns

“Boys like Dan and Olly are a significant and worrying minority, according to Youth Sport Trust chief executive Ali Oliver. “About 30% of boys don’t enjoy or look forward to physical activity,” she says, quoting a survey published by the charity last year. Among boys aged 14-16, fewer than half (47%) consider PE skills relevant to their daily lives, and overall, only 16% of boys do the 60 minutes of exercise a day recommended by the government’s chief medical officer.” (more)

How a growing number of states are hoping to improve kids’ brains: exercise

The Hechinger Report – Lillian Mongeau

“Despite her stated disinterest, the level of physical activity Anna and her classmates experience during their school day is unusual and probably beneficial. In the U.S., where 31 percent of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are obese, most school children move far too little, experts say. Thirty years of focus on increasing academic minutes in the school day has resulted in reduced recess and physical education time at many schools. The lack of physical activity is taking a toll on student fitness and that’s bad for growing brains, research shows.” (more)

Exercise is more precious than ever. So let’s stop scaring kids off PE

The Guardian – Anna Kessel

“When I was growing up I routinely bunked PE lessons. I saw PE as optional – it was on the timetable, but no one seemed to care if you didn’t attend. PE was for sporty kids anyway, and I wasn’t one of them. Times have changed. We now know so much more about the value of physical activity – for physical and mental wellbeing, to promote positive body image in women and girls, to help people with depression, to engender a healthy lifestyle from an early age, to sharpen concentration and academic performance, and even to tackle the gender pay gap (research shows that women who play sport are more likely to enjoy high-flying careers).” (more)

‘Tubby and terrified’: How fear puts girls off PE

BBC – Judith Burns

“The UK’s chief medical officer recommends school-age children do at least an hour of exercise each day. But new research with 25,000 secondary students in England and Northern Ireland suggests that, at secondary level, only 8% of girls and 16% of boys manage this. Of the teenagers, surveyed by Youth Sport Trust and Women in Sport, more than 80% understood the importance of being active but almost half of boys and nearly two-thirds of girls were less than keen on taking part themselves. The research suggests lack of confidence is key.”(more)