School physical education in the post-report era : an analysis from public health

Trost, Stewart G. (2004) School physical education in the post-report era : an analysis from public health. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 23(4), pp. 318-337.

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The 1996 United States Surgeon General’s report on physical activity and health represents a watershed moment in the modern history of physical activity and public health. Based on a compelling body of scientific evidence from the fields of medicine, epidemiology, physiology, and health psychology, the Surgeon General’s report proclaimed that people of all ages could improve their health and quality of life through lifelong practice of moderate physical activity (United States Department of Health and Human Services [USDHHS], 1996). Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General was an especially important publication for school physical education. Not only did the report acknowledge the importance of regular physical activity during childhood and adolescence, it also identified school physical education as an important vehicle for promoting healthenhancing physical activity in young people. “With evidence that success in this arena is possible, every effort should be made to encourage schools to require daily physical education in each grade and to promote physical activities that can be enjoyed throughout life” (USDHHS, 1996, p. 6). The purpose of this article is to discuss the status of school physical education since the release of the Surgeon General’s report on physical activity and health nearly a decade ago. Specifically, the article will address four questions:

1) What has been the historical role of physical education in physical activity and public health?

2) What impact, if any, has the Surgeon General’s report has had on physical education programs?

3) What impact should physical education have on public health and physical activity?

4) What should teacher education programs in physical education do to prepare physical education teachers, given the current role of physical education?

Impact and interest:

33 citations in Scopus
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25 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 72253
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0273-5024
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Deposited On: 29 May 2014 23:45
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2014 22:38

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