To allow time for physical fitness in elementary schools, a doctor proposes adding time to existing school hours.
Dr. Bob Rauner, director of Partnership for a Healthy Lincoln, has found that more time for fitness results in better health in elementary students. In addition to their health, he says academic grades increase as well.
Dr. Rauner, who has worked with the city of Lincoln for the past six years, says he has succeeded in lowering obesity levels in schools, but now recognizes time is another issue.
The average time students get for lunch and recess is 25 minutes, according to LPS Wellness Facilitator Michelle Welch, who added that in elementary school physical education is taught every six days.
Dr. Rauner says the progress is in middle school since they have time set aside for physical education and organized sports. Elementary schools do not have the same luxury. He says parents often have to look to extracurricular activities outside of school.
With the No Child Left Behind policy, Dr. Rauner says math and other academic subjects are “displacing other things” like art, recess and physical activity. His solution is to add 22 minutes to the school day.