Obesity and type 1 diabetes in children, which lead to chronic health problems in adulthood are on the rise. The top issue for paediatricians in the treatment of obesity in children is the amount of physical exercise(PE) that the kids are getting. A recent study has shown that children are not getting nearly enough exercise, making them fall short of the American National guidelines. The national guidelines recommend that pre-adolescent children should get at least one hour of physical activity each day. Researchers from 10 medical centers around the United States studied third graders and their PE activity at 684 schools to check if the Healthy People 2010 initiative goals are being met. The initiative suggested PE time be offered daily and should involve kids in moderate to vigorous activity for at least 50 percent of the class time.
The study revealed that only 5.9 percent of the children took part in PE five times a week. Children averaged about two PE lessons per week and they totaled only 68.7 minutes for the week. Additionally, they averaged only about five minutes of vigorous activity. They also found that there were major variations between school system PE requirements, teacher participation, and lesson plans. The investigators thus indicated that PE in school was falling short in meeting Healthy People 2010 goals for PE in both frequency and activity intensity and that more standardized requirements and more staff development is needed.