According to First Lady Michelle Obama, Thursday was "a groundbreaking, earth-shattering, awesomely-inspiring day." That's because Mrs. Obama was in Chicago to announce the launch Let’s Move Active Schools, an unprecedented effort to bring physical education back to America’s schools.
The problem is severe -- we are raising the most sedentary generation in history. Only six states require P.E. in all grades, and only one in three kids is physically active on a daily basis. In addition to the health risks associated with an inactive lifestyle, including diabetes and obesity, physical activity has been shown to lower anxiety and stress, and fight depression. In addition, physically active kids do better in school, with studies showing that physical activity enhances important skills, like concentration and problem solving, which have been shown to improve academic performance.
Let’s Move! Active Schools is designed to address these challenges by spurring innovative solutions and offering customized support every step of the way. It empowers schools to find free or low-cost ways to incorporate movement before, during, and after the school day. And thanks to funding and other resources being provided by NIKE, Inc., the GENYOUth Foundation, ChildObesity180, Kaiser Permanente, and the General Mills Foundation, schools can connect to grant opportunities, online resources, personal assistance, and hands-on professional development. The President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN) the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation & Dance (AAHPERD) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation are the managing organizations guiding the development and implementation of the program.