Schools should provide students with the opportunity to participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, with the majority of that time coming during regular school hours, the Institute of Medicine recommends in a new report released today.
“School policies encouraging an environment that promotes physical activity and decreases sedentary time are promising obesity-prevention strategies,” the institute suggests.
For the 300-plus-page report, which was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the IOM’s committee on physical activity and physical education in the school environment examined the current state of school-based physical activity to see what role schools can play in helping address childhood obesity.
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans say that all children and adolescents should engage in at least one hour of daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA), but only roughly half of youths meet that level at the moment, according to the IOM, the health division of the National Academy of Sciences. A study published earlier this year in
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.