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    Background and Research

     

    • A study by the California State Board of Education found that children who engaged in daily physical activity:
      • Outperformed other students on exams
      • Exhibited superior academic performance and attitudes toward school
      • Stayed in school longer
      • Improved scores on short-term memory tests and reaction times
      • Increased creativity

     

     
    • The U.S. Surgeon General, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute for Health, the Government Accountability Office, and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education all identify increasing physical activity, through quality physical education programs, as one of the most critical ways to fight childhood obesity.
    • A recent report from The California Endowment found a direct correlation between smaller physical education class sizes and an increase in students’ level of engagement in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
    • A John Hopkins University study showed that for every weekday an adolescent participated in PE classes the odds of becoming an overweight adult decreased by five percent and participating in PE classes everyday decreased the odds of becoming an overweight adult by 28 percent.
    • In a District pilot program at three Los Angeles elementary schools with increased physical activity minutes and quality physical education, students’ API scores increased (40, 22, and 17 points respectively) as did their fitness levels.
    • A U.S. study of nearly 12,000 adolescents revealed that, when compared to their sedentary peers, students who participated in P.E., team sports or played sports with their parents were 20 percent more likely to earn “A’s” in math or English.
    • The fitness levels of more than 300 middle school students were evaluated and those who were the most fit performed better academically as well.