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Increase Physical Activity and Physical Education

Physical activity is bodily movement of any type, while physical education programs (PE) use physical activity to teach children how to establish and sustain an active lifestyle. Both are important for obesity prevention and a student’s healthy development.

  • Physical Education Guidelines: SHAPE America recommends that schools provide 150 minutes of instructional physical education for elementary school children and 225 minutes for middle and high school students per week for the entire school year.

What PTAs Can Do 

  • Raise funds for new athletic or playground equipment that promotes physical activity.
  • Organize a “clean up our playground” event.
  • Form walking or running clubs for students and families.
  • Host Fire Up Your Feet, turkey trots, walkathons or other fun runs that raise money for schools.
  • Create a walking school bus or bike train—groups of students who walk or bike to school together with parents who rotate supervision duties.
  • Organize a Safe Routes to School program to create a safer environment for children to walk and bike to and from school.
  • Partner with local fitness organizations to provide active afterschool activities, such as Family Fitness Nights, in your school’s facility.
  • Give parents info about community physical activity resources (such as programs at the local YMCA).

Learn More

  • Fire Up Your Feet: National PTA initiative encouraging families to walk more to and from school—and in daily life—while keeping track of their steps. 
  • Let's Move Active Schools. Free resources and training to help schools increase students’ physical activity before, during and after class.
  • Presidential Youth Fitness Program (President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition). A comprehensive, school-based program that promotes health and regular physical activity for America’s youth.
  • Online Training Modules (KaBOOM!). On-demand training modules on topics such as how to build a new playspace in your community or how to become an advocate for play.