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Guideline 4

Implement a comprehensive physical activity program with quality physical education as the cornerstone.

two girls with basketballChildren and adolescents should participate in 60 minutes of physical activity every day. A substantial percentage of students’ physical activity can be provided through a comprehensive, school-based physical activity program that includes these components: physical education, recess, classroom-based physical activity, walk and bicycle to school, and out-of-school time activities.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommends that children and adolescents engage in 60 minutes or more of physical activity every day.2


  • Require students in grades K–12 to participate in daily physical education that uses a planned and sequential curriculum and instructional practices that are consistent with national or state standards for physical education.
  • Provide a substantial percentage of each student’s recommended daily amount of physical activity in physical education class.
  • Use instructional strategies in physical education that enhance students’ behavioral skills, confidence in their abilities, and desire to adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle.
  • Provide ample opportunities for all students to engage in physical activity outside of physical education class.
  • Ensure that physical education and other physical activity programs meet the needs and interests of all students.




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