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Physical-Education Programs Criticized

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Physical-education and fitness-assessment programs for children in grades 1-4 do not meet recommended standards, a study analyzing the results of a federal survey of such programs has found.

According to the analysis, only one-third of all children betweeen the ages of 6 and 9 attend daily physical-education classes, and most do not have the opportunity to participate in fitness testing.

In addition, the study found that three of the top five physical-education activities are not aerobic, or4structured to condition the body with alternating periods of vigorous and moderate exercise, and that sports skills are more heavily stressed as students get older.

Only two to three minutes of each gym class are devoted to moderate-to-vigorous exercise, the researchers found.

The study, which was published in the November issue of the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, was based on data collected by the U.S. Public Health Service.

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