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The Use of Physical Education Activities to Curb Obesity in Elementary Schools

  Term Paper ID:45080
Essay Subject:
An explanation of how physical education relates to controlling obesity specifically in New York ...... More...
10 Pages / 2250 Words
11 sources, 20 Citations, APA Format

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Paper Abstract:
An explanation of how physical education relates to controlling obesity, specifically in New York State schools.

Paper Introduction:
The Use of Physical Education Activities to Curb Obesity in ElementarySchoolsIntroductionSchools are faced with the challenge of helping children keep their weightwithin a healthy range University of the State of New York n d According to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington\'s PhysicalEducation and Health Web site n d physical education is a course inthe curriculum which utilizes learning in the cognitive affective andpsycho motor domains in a play or movement exploration setting Byallotting time for physical education in each grade\'s

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Physical education: Addressing critical issues. (2 9b). Works CitedAnderson, S. This can create a lasting sense that health and fitness asa way of life, thus reducing obesity both during childhood and leading toan ongoing adherence to a healthy lifestyle throughout adulthood. Then aseries of short learning exercises take place in which students are giventhe names of these organs to spell (e.g. (2 7, January). (n.d.) Healthy Weight. In Coach Avery's Physical Education Web Site. This is particularly helpful in fighting obesity, because it createslasting habits that can extend beyond the school itself into a child'sactivities in his or her community.ConclusionThe effects of obesity on children's physical, mental, and emotional well-being are severe and debilitating. Elementary students required...," 2 8). Elementary studentsrequired...," 2 8), may exacerbate this effect.Physical Education Programs in SchoolsPhysical Education programs in schools are meant to give students thephysical ability, skills, and motivation to maintain a healthy lifestyle(University of North Carolina at Wilmington, n.d.). Elementary studentsrequired...," 2 8). The Use of Physical Education Activities to Curb Obesity in ElementarySchoolsIntroductionSchools are faced with the challenge of helping children keep their weightwithin a healthy range (University of the State of New York, n.d.).According to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington's PhysicalEducation and Health Web site (n.d.), physical education is "a course inthe curriculum which utilizes learning in the cognitive, affective andpsycho motor domains in a play or movement exploration setting." Byallotting time for physical education in each grade's curriculum andchoosing age-appropriate activities, schools can help manage childhoodobesity and the physical and emotional problems that come with it (New YorkState Education Department, n.d.).Obesity in ChildrenAbout one out of three children now considered overweight or obese (NemoursFoundation, 2 9b). Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from York State Academy for Teaching and Learning. In 2 7, a bill waspassed that required elementary schools to provide two-and-a-half hours ofphysical education per week for all children; however, lawmakers soonlearned that many schools were not following this mandate ("Fla. Childrentend to get exercise from play activities, such playing tag, playing at aplayground, or going to soccer or dance practice. (2 9, April). Digestive disorders caused orexacerbated by obesity include gallstones, constipation, acid reflux, and afatty liver ("Fla. Games that teach teamwork, improve aerobic capacity,and help children develop motor and social skills can likewise lead toweight control and improved mental functioning. This integrates asocial context of physical movement with the movement itself, as studentspractice working in teams in a supportive environment. Elementary students required...," 2 8). Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from ut.PPMCAppController.PPMCArticlePage.PPMCPubmedRA&linkpos=2Avery, T. Elementarystudents required...," 2 8). An integrated approach, such as these learning modules demonstrate,makes physical education a part of other types of learning, and encourageschildren to think of physical activities as being integral to their dailylives. (n.d.). Content - health & fitness: Learning Standard 1 - Key Idea B. E., & Whitaker, R. Reduced mentalacuity, which is also associated with obesity ("Fla. Defects in bone formation seen in obese children include adislocated growth plate in the hip socket, bowed knees (Blount's disease),flat feed, and pain in weight-bearing joints, such as the hips, knees, andlower back ("Fla. 1). Obesity in children canlead to early puberty. For kindergarten through sixthgrade, the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education mandates a total ofat least 12 minutes of physical education per week, in addition to theabove criteria.Collaborative (Integrative) Physical Education Learning Modules as a Meansof Reducing ObesityIn his memo, Mr. Stevens notes that research supports the use of acollaborative approach to physical education, and that, beyond reducingobesity in and of itself, this type of physical education can lead toimprovements in academic performance (Stevens, 2 7, p. Retrieved January 14, 2 1 , from York State Education Department. He or she may be less likely toengage in the company of other children and thus miss out on theinteractions which lead to social learning. Obesity in the U.S. (n.d.) Physical Education and Health. heart, lungs, etc.), andinstructed to run in relay races across the teaching area to get lettersprinted on paper and bring them back to their team. 1), which, toparaphrase the memo, are the standards outlined below, consisting of:Standard 1Personal Health and FitnessThis standard states that students should receive physical education thatimproves their physical health and fitness levels.Standard 2A Safe and Healthy EnvironmentAccording to this standard, students are to practice physical education insuch a way that a safe and healthy environment is maintained.Standard 3Resource ManagementBecause communities provide resources for students and these resources canbe utilized to help students maintain good health and fitness, thisstandard states that students should be aware of and able to utilizecommunity resources for bettering their health and fitness. Rather than being seen asmerely obesity prevention, physical education programs can be designed toteach important skills and encourage a life-long enjoyment of fitness. The obesity-depression link. Oneway physical education programs can promote long-term adherence to ahealthy lifestyle is to implement learning modules, such as those describedby teachers from the New York State Academy for Teaching and Learning(n.d.), which integrate movement and fitness activities with cognitive andsocial learning. Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from 8- 6- 2-physical- education_N.htm Physical education programs mustmeet requirements outlined on the New York School Board Web site, indocuments that are cited in Stevens' memo to the District Superintendantsof Schools, Superintendents of Public and Nonpublic Schools, andAdministrators of Charter Schools (Stevens, 2 7, p. Kids and exercise. Elementary students required...," 2 8). Theobese children in the study missed an average of four days of school permonth, compared to the non-overweight children who missed less than one dayper month. In a four-year study of four-year-olds by Anderson& Whitaker (2 9), Native Americans and Native Alaskans had the highestrates of obesity (31%), Hispanics, Blacks, and Caucasians had progressivelylower rates (22%, 21%, and 16% respectively), and Asians had the lowestrates (13%).The Multiple Effects of Childhood ObesityA USA Today article ("Fla. Type 2 diabetes, a condition in which the body does not make enoughinsulin, was once seen primarily as a disease of adulthood; it is now beingseen in children due to chronic overeating and the weight gain that results("Fla. Todetermine whether a child is overweight, his or her BMI can be plotted onone of the BMI Growth Charts that are published by the Centers for DiseaseControl (Centers for Disease Control, n.d.). Games for grades one through six include"back and forth bean-bag races," in which students toss bean-bags to eachother while running, jump rope games, and nerf football tossing. Retrieved January 14, 2 1 , from ard1B_Content_HealthFitness.pdfStevens, J. (n.d.). A study by Lawson (2 3) revealed that obesechildren have depression profiles similar to those of cancer patients. Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from 3 5/the-obesity-depression- linkNemours Foundation. Obesity is determined by Body Mass Index (BMI) whichuses weight and height to calculate a number that can be used as asurrogate for body fat percentage (Centers for Disease Control, n.d.). Elementary studentsrequired...," 2 8). While theseresources are not mentioned in the memo, they might include aneighborhood's play structures and after-school activities, such as nearbyparks and recreational areas.The memo additionally states that Section 135.4 of the Regulations of theCommissioner of Education mandates that elementary students in kindergartenthrough third grade receive physical education daily and that those infourth through sixth grade receive physical education training at leastthree times per week (Stevens, 2 7, p. Movies & descriptions of PE activities for primary grades. Byassociating exercise with having fun, schools can help students enjoystaying fit, which can motivate them to exercise throughout their lives.Current Requirements for Physical Education in New York PublicSchoolsNew York elementary school students are required to attend physicaleducation classes (Stevens, 2 7, p. [Memo from the State Education Department, the University of the State of New York]. The type of physical education Stevens refers to is exemplified byexamples and explanations of physical education activities, provided on aWeb site authored by teachers from the New York State Academy for Teachingand Learning (n.d.). New York state physical education profile talking points. Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from Foundation. Girls may suffer from polycystic ovarian syndrome,ovarian cysts, irregular menstrual cycles, and abnormal hair growth on thechin, chest, abdomen, and upper lip ("Fla. Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from stuff%2 of%2 site/OPENING%2 PA GE.htmlCenters for Disease Control and Prevention. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 163(4), 344- 8. Elementary students required...,"2 8). In KidsHealth. Theteacher gives the students interesting biological facts about these organsand encourages them to experience the use of these organs by moving certainbody parts and seeing how this feels and affects other body parts. The effects of depression have important ramifications forchildren's social and mental development. is now being seen in very young children. According to a children's health Web site,children's fitness activities should have a different focus than those ofadults (Nemours Foundation, 2 9a). Elementary schools are in a position tocurb the obesity epidemic by implementing fun, age-specific physicaleducation programs. Retrieved January 14, 2 1 , from 7.pdfUniversity of North Carolina at Wilmington. This Web site describes several physical educationactivities for elementary school students. A childwhose weight is at the 95th percentile or higher is considered obese(Centers for Disease Control, n.d.). For grades K-1, Avery suggests "safe gym stunts," performed on a gymnastics mat,exercising to music, and "parachute games," in which students manipulate anun-inflated parachute as a group. Depression is a major concern for obese children ("Fla. C. 1). A child who is depressed is morelikely to be withdrawn (Lawson, 2 3). (2 3, May 1). In order to stay in shape, adultstypically go to the gym or go on an extended run or bike ride. Elementary students required to exercise 3 minutes daily. Weight-loss, teamspirit, and an ability to follow rules are other goals. (2 8, June 2). Fla. Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from, W. In KidsHealth. Therates are race-specific. Because children's bones are in a rapid growth stage, bone and jointproblems caused by obesity can lead to a deformed skeletal structure thatfollows children into adulthood ("Fla. 2). Elementarystudents required...," 2 8). Prevalence of obesity among US preschool children in different racial and ethnic groups [Abstract]. (n.d.) Physical education. In the first part of this lesson, students are taughtabout various parts of their bodies, such as their heart and lungs. In the heart and blood vessels, obesity promotes high LDL (bad)cholesterol, low HDL (good) cholesterol, high triglyerides and other bloodfats, high blood pressure, abnormal blood clotting, and elevatedinflammation that damages blood vessels ("Fla. Overweight and obesity. C. In schools, missed classroomtime deprives obese/depressed children of learning opportunities and maymake it difficult for them to catch up in their lessons. In another integrative lesson plan, "Speed and Spell," students areled through a series of activities that engage their mental and physicallearning activities by combining spelling, health, and biology lessons witha relay race, played in teams (New York State Academy for Teaching andLearning, n.d.). A child whose weight is at the85th to just below the 95th percentile is considered overweight. (2 9a). Psychology Today. For example, in the "Balance" activity, elementary school students arepresented with a set of balancing boards, balance beams, and relatedequipment and then asked to follow a set of exercises in teams; one studentattempts to balance on the equipment, while another is the "spotter," whoguides the first student and helps him or her to balance on the equipment(New York State Academy for Teaching and Learning, n.d.). Tom Avery, an elementary school teacher in California, lists twenty-four grade-specific physical education games, along with pictures andinstructions for playing them, on his Web site (Avery, n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2 9, from of the State of New York. Retrieved January 14, 2 1 , from df.USA Today. (n.d.). In the lungs, obesity can lead to sleep apnea, asthma,and shortness of breath during exertion. Elementary students required...," 2 8) liststhe physical effects of childhood obesity by organ system, a description ofwhich follows.

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