Frequency of Physical Education Affects Adult Obesity Levels

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( I don’t normally do this, but here’s an article directly from the pages of the PE Update.com website).

“As public health officials wring their hands about the obesity epidemic, there’s a solution that is relatively low-cost, ready to implement and obvious to anyone involved in school health and physical education. Implement quality daily physical education in every school!

Our schools have the ability to ensure that every student receives physical activity on a daily basis…and to provide these students with the tools needed to maintain an active lifestyle into adulthood.

The effectiveness of physical education isn’t conjecture. A study at the John’s Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has quantified the effects of physical education classes on students’ adult body weight.

The John Hopkins Study

The researchers studied 3,345 teens in grades eight through 12, tracking their participation in physical education and extracurricular sports, then measuring their height and weight five years after graduating from school.

It was found that the more days of physical education participation per week, the greater the chance that students would maintain a healthy body weight into adulthood.

To put the statistical results into layman’s terms, the chances of becoming overweight adults decreased by 5% for every additional day of weekly PE or sport participation. Students who participated in daily physical education and/or extracurricular sport were 28% less likely to become overweight adults!

A Solution to the Obesity Problem

While both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the US Department Of Health and Human Services recommend physical education at all grade levels, less than half of high school students participate in physical education classes. Less than 6% of junior high and senior high schools offer daily physical education.

If our society truly wants to reduce health care costs, productivity losses to business and the human suffering involved with an overweight, unhealthy population, they should be adding physical education classes, not eliminating them! We must make daily physical education a requirement at all grade levels, and it should be taught by qualified physical educators using a curriculum aimed at providing the skills and knowledge necessary to participate in a lifelong fitness regimen.

Physical education isn’t a frill. It’s a necessity!

References:
1. Robert Wm. Blum (MD, MPH, PhD), David Menschik (MD, MPH) Saifuddin Ahmed (PhD) Miriam H. Alexander (MD, MP), “Adolescent Physical Activities As Predictors of Young Adult Weight.” Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, January 2008.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]Quality Daily Physical Education,QDPE,adult obesity[/tags]

My Top-3 Reasons Why the NCAA Tournament is Better Than the NBA Playoffs

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The NCAA basketball championship concludes tonight, and with it, one of the most enjoyable spectacles in sport.

To me,  this three-weekend playoff is much more exciting than it’s professional counterpart. Here are my top-three reasons why the NCAA tournament is better than the NBA playoffs.

  1. The sudden-death format creates a sense of urgency that makes players go all-out, all-game! No coasting, no “we’ll get them next time.”  Plus, players who are trying to make it seem more motivated than players who already have millions in the bank.
  2. The referees  actually call fouls – particularly traveling and offensive charging. The NBA brain trust is so concerned about keeping scoring levels high that they feel it’s OK to allow an extra step when attacking the basket. It’s OK for big men like Shaq to bowl over a smaller opponent if it ends in a basket. And a charge is seldom called under the net – that would reduce the number of slam dunks in a game.
  3. And that seques into the final reason I enjoy the NCAA tournament so much. The teams play defense. I enjoy watching players who work their butts off on “D.” And I love watching teams struggle to crack and opposing defensive scheme. The games I enjoy the most may involve only 50 or 60 points. When baskets have to be earned, they have more value.

NBA officials…wake up. The pro game is so slanted towards the offence that baskets mean very little. Games in which teams score 120 points aren’t as much fun to watch as you think. Soccer, hockey and baseball have all managed to survive without triple-digit scoring!

To me, pro basketball is the Hollywood version of the game. The NBA feels that reality isn’t dramatic enough, so they shade the rules to embellish the more specatacular elements of the sport. In fact, they’re wrong. I’d rather watch the real thing. And millions of NCAA basketball fans obviously feel the same way!

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To subscribe to the free PE Tips of the Week Newsletter, Click Here!
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[tags]NCAA basketball,NBA basketball[/tags]

Half-Time Twittering

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Technology is bound to affect sports in ways we could never have imagined. An example happened last week in the NBA. It was the convergence of wireless computer technology, the internet and a new social networking service called Twitter.

Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to post quick thoughts to the internet.  Examples might be, “Dick hates shopping, but he’s going for groceries now anyway.” Those of you who have used Facebook have a similar function called “Newsfeed” comments that you post by filling in the “What’s on your Mind” box.

Milwaukee Bucks forward, Charlie Villaneuva made news last week by posting a Twitter comment during the half-time of a game against the Boston Celtics. It was a simple message –  basically that he had to step it up in the second half. And he did. And his team won the game.

However, this half-time Twittering was frowned upon by his coach, Scott Skiles, who felt it left the impression that his athlete was playing with his computer at half-time rather than focusing on the game.  Villanueva disagrees, saying it didn’t interfere with what normally goes on at half-time during NBA games. However he won’t be making any future half-time posts.

But aside from heckling, such close interaction with fans DURING games, is certainly a new development. And it can lead to a number of issues, especially since such computerized communication is two-way. For example:

  • The potential for disturbing, distracting messages from opposing fans. Or even from Mom, telling you that you forgot to take out the garbage.
  • Coaching, in sports where coaching usually doesn’t occur during games , i.e. tennis, golf, badminton.
  • The disclosure of information that can be used up by opponents – who may be reading  these tweets on a cell phone from the other bench. For example, “Coach says we’re going full-court press with two minutes to go.”
  • Insider information to bettors. Certainly at the elementary and high school level, this shouldn’t be a problem. But there is the potential for abuse at the college and professional level.

And what’s next? Distance runners with earpieces getting tactical information like in NASCAR?

I do appreciate Villanueva’s attempt to keep a close connection with his fans during games, but maybe this is one step over the line.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To subscribe to the free PE Tips of the Week Newsletter, Click Here!
To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!

[tags]Twitter,Charlie Villaneuva,[/tags]

Romanians Have Physical Education Problems Too

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In the early mornings, my clock radio kicks off the day with “Radio Romania” as part of the Canadian Broadcast Company’s morning programming (depending on how long I stay in bed, I can also hear English broadcasts from South Korea, Australia and Poland).

Not long ago, while rubbing the sleep from my eyes and nudging the dog off the bed, I overheard the Romanian announcers discussing the state of physical education and youth fitness in their country. The situation sounded familiar, yet different.

While a quick check in Wikepedia shows that physical education is mandatory in elementary school and that their system includes specialist PE high schools, Romanian physical education does have its problems – just as it does in North America.

Here is a short list of some of the problems they discussed. See how they compare to your own situation:

  • Sports and PE facilities are becoming less available as schoolyards are sold to developers for apartments and other developments.
  • When facilities do exist, they are often off-limits to students. Schools rent them out to clubs as a way to raise funds.
  • Many students don’t take PE because they don’t wish to carry their gym clothing with them during the school day. The problem is that few Romanian schools have lockers.
  • Kids prefer to take city buses to school when they could easily walk.
  • Children often spending recess time playing video games.

From Radio Romania International, 2/12/09
http://www.rri.ro/index.shtml?lang=1

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To subscribe to the free PE Tips of the Week Newsletter, Click Here!
To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!

[tags]physical education problems,Romania[/tags]

Physical Education Training Produces Better Academic Teachers

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One thing about physical educators is that they realize the value of making lessons fun. They also realize that an active child is a child better able to learn.

This often applies for those physical educators who teach academic subjects. A great example is Marilyn Rodgers of Hernando High school in Desoto Mississipi, an experienced physical educator whose teaching skills were considered too valuable to be wasted on “gym.” Instead she was placed in a history classroom where she remains to this day.

However, Rodgers incorporates her PE training – and the love of games that first attracted her to the profession – into her history classes to keep her students involved and her lessons fun.

One example is a game she plays in which students must correctly answer history questions in order to get the chance to take a shot with a basketball. (I’m not sure whether she had to does this in the gym, or with crumpled piece of paper in the trash can in the classroom).  The class is broken up into groups, with the team scoring the most baskets winning the contest. It’s popular, it keeps the kids involved, and they have fun while learning history.

It’s a great example of the physical education attitude and training applied to academic teaching.

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To subscribe to the free PE Tips of the Week Newsletter, Click Here!
To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!

[tags]physical education,teaching,history[/tags]

Food Container Rant

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This is a tale of an invention that has been rendered useless because of corporate greed.  Strictly speaking, it’s not a physical education issue, but it does affect any teacher who packs a lunch for school or team trips.

What invention am I talking about? Plastic food storage containers.

I’m the king of leftovers. I eat them for most lunches. And when I pack for team trips, I usually pack my travel munchies in a plastic storage container so they don’t get scrunched.

Several years ago, a company (Glad or Ziploc, I believe) came up with a wonderful invention. Small rectangular storage containers that held one or two leftover portions. My grocery store stocked only one size and they all used the same snap-on top. It was so easy – you knew every top would fit, and the containers all stacked perfectly inside each other, making a nice, compact pile inside your cupboard.

I was in food storage heaven.

Alas, my happy days were not to last.

Soon other companies got into the act. They began innovating, and added numerous sizes and shapes. They redesigned the containers so the old tops no longer fit the new containers.

The result – where once there was a compact pile of plastic containers in my cupboard, there now lies a big old mess. And, finding the top that actually fits a container is now a test of patience, often requiring me to  spread a selection of tops on my counter and using trial-and-error until I find one that fits.

What brought on this diatribe? Last Friday morning, as I was packing for a team trip to Toronto for an indoor track meet, already late, I was delayed to the point of growling as I tried to find a top for a food container. From such frustrations are revolutions born!

Food container companies… I curse you now!

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To subscribe to the free PE Tips of the Week Newsletter, Click Here!
To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!

[tags]physical education,plastic food containers[/tags]