Lifelong Physical Activity
Center for Disease Control (CDC) has compiled Guidelines for School
and Community Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity Among
Young People. The guidelines, developed in collaboration with
experts from other federal and state agencies, universities, voluntary
organizations and professional associations, have been based upon
extensive review of research and practice.
According to these guidelines, physical activity programs for
young people are more likely to be effective when they emphasize
enjoyable participation in physical activities and when they offer
a diverse range of activities. In addition, physical activity
becomes more effective when it is promoted by all components of
a coordinated school health program and developes links between
school and community programs.
The guidelines include ten recommendations for ensuring quality
physical activity programs:
Óstablish policies that promote enjoyable, lifelong physical
activity. Schools should require daily physical education and
comprehensive health education (including lessons on physical
activity) in grades K-12.
Provide physical and social environments that encourage and
enable young people to engage in safe and enjoyable physical activity,
including school time, such as recess, for unstructured physical
activity, such as jumping rope.
Education Curricula and Instruction: Implement sequential
physical education curricula and instruction in grades K-12 that
emphasize enjoyable participation in lifetime physical activities
and that keep students active for most of class time.
Education Curricula and Instruction: Implement health education
curricula and instruction that help students develop the knowledge,
attitudes, and skills they need to adopt and maintain a healthy
Activities: Provide extracurricular physical activity programs
that offer diverse, developmentally appropriate activities-both
noncompetitive and competitive-for all students.
Involvement: Encourage parents and guardians to support their
children’s participation in physical activity, to be physically
active role models, and to include physical activity in family
Provide training to enable teachers, coaches, recreation and
health care staff, and other school and community personnel to
promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity among young people.
Services: Assess the physical activity patterns of young people,
refer them to appropriate physical activity programs, and advocate
for physical activity instruction and programs for young people.
Programs: Provide a range of developmentally appropriate community
sports and recreation programs that are attractive to all young
Regularly evaluate physical activity instruction, programs,
more information visit www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dash/physact.htm or
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