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Medical News and Perspectives
July 10, 2013

Institute of Medicine Report Advises Schools to Prioritize Physical Activity to Promote Health and Learning

JAMA. 2013;310(2):131-132. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7849

Many US adults may or may not fondly remember daily physical education classes at school, but for many US children today, such experiences are infrequent or nonexistent. According to a report from the Institute of Medicine, some children may have physical education only once per week or not at all.

The shift has occurred in part because physical education, as well as recess, have been squeezed out of the school day by policies that emphasize academics, such as the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Since 2001, when No Child Left Behind went into effect, nearly half of US school administrators report having cut physical education, arts, and recess from the curriculum to increase time for mathematics and reading instruction.

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