The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children engage in 60 or more minutes of physical activity every day. With a good majority of their day being spent at school, elementary level kids should be able to earn some of those active minutes at school, right?
A recent post from the Chicago Tribune says that isn’t the case. Many Chicago schools have cut back or cut out recess and often PE class from their schedules. The article informs readers of the obstacle-filled journey of pro-recess supporters to change the Chicago Public School policy from one that “encourages schools to have recess” to one that requires it.
Charles Hillman, a professor and researcher from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is also highlighted in the article. He has found that physically active students “show improvement in memory, attention span and performance on academic achievement tests” compared to their inactive counterparts. Hillman gives us some concrete data to use in the fight against the childhood overweight and obesity epidemic that is prevalent across our nation.
Along with our many partners, Active Transportation Alliance is leading that fight against obesity by encouraging healthy and active lifestyles through numerous programs and services. We have successfully implemented several different Walk Across Illinois programs that increase children’s physical activity and teach them about bicycle and pedestrian safety. Our Safe Routes to School work also helps to make it possible for students to walk and bike to school using those safety skills.