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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)

Teenagers are as sedentary as 60-year-olds by age 19

The Washington Post – Ariana Eunjung Cha

“The adolescent years are when people’s bodies are supposed to start the ascent to their physical peak. Teenagers are growing like beanstalks. Their hormones are raging. They’re eager for new experiences. By all accounts, this should be among the most active periods in a person’s lifetime. Except it turns out it’s not. In an eye-opening study involving 12,529 Americans ages 6 to 85, researchers mapped how physical activity changes over a lifetime. The participants, part of the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, wore accelerometers, devices that measure movement, for seven consecutive days. For the purposes of the analysis, researchers counted all types of movement, not just exercise.”(more)

Being more active in school lessons can improve performance in tests

Science Daily – Staff Writer

“Children who take part in lessons which include physical activity show an increase in health-enhancing physical activity and academic performance, according to research carried out by Leeds Beckett University. A team led by Senior Lecturer Andy Daly-Smith evaluated the impact of Tagtiv8 maths lessons on physical activity and maths performance. Children from a primary school in Leeds were randomly allocated to groups; taking part in either a seated classroom lesson or a Tagitv8 active learning lesson.”(more)