Deirdre O Callaghan—Felix Clinton
April 8, 2016 12:01 AM EDT

Public health officials recommend that children get at least an hour of physical activity every day, but the most recent study from the American Heart Association, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and SHAPE America reveals 5 ways that school physical education (PE) programs are falling short.

1. Physical education programs receive little funding.

Most schools on average have only $764 each year to spend on PE programs

2. Almost all states fail to meet weekly physical education requirements.

Oregon and the District of Columbia are the only places that provide the recommended amount of exercise each week for elementary and middle school students.

3. States don’t set minimum amounts of time for exercise

Only 19 states require elementary school children to exercise a certain amount during school; by high school only six states do.

4. Not all states require students to take gym class at all.

In the U.S. 39 states require elementary school students to participate in exercise programs during school hours.

5. Some states withhold physical education as punishment.

Of the U.S.’s 50 states, 40 allow school officials to prevent students from participating in physical education as punishment.

 

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