Chapter 3: Role of Physical Education and Sport in Society and Education

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Chapter 3: Role of Physical Education and Sport in Society and Education

  • What are the implications of changing demographics in the U.S for physical education, exercise science, and sport?
  • What is the fitness movement?
  • What are the current educational reform movements is physical education, exercise science, and sport?

Changing Demographics

  • Life expectancy is at an all time high:
    • Public health initiatives
    • Advances in medical science
    • Improvements in standards of living
  • Population is becoming older
    • In 2000, 2% of population was 85 or older, by 2050, 5% of population will be 85 or older.
    • By 2030, one in five will be over the age of 65.

Changing Demographics

  • Society is becoming increasing diverse.
    • 2000 Census: 75.2% white, 12.3% African American, 3.6% Asian, .9% American Indian/Alaskan Native, .1% Native Hawaiian, 2% multiracial.
    • In 1999, 2.6 million school-age children spoke a language other than English at home, double that of 1979.
  • Family structure is changing.
    • 1970, married couple families with kids was 87%; in 2000, it was down to 69%.
  • Poverty impacts on health and well-being.
    • Almost 17% of children live below poverty line, affecting school outcomes and potential for future earnings.

Cultural Competence

  • “…a set of congruent behaviors, attitudes, and policies that come together in a system, agency, or among professionals that enables effective work in cross-cultural situations.”
    • Culture: integrated patterns of human behavior that include the language, thoughts, communications, actions, customs, values, and institutions of racial, ethnic, religious, or social groups.
    • Competence: having the capacity to function effectively as an individual and an organization within the context of cultural beliefs, behaviors, and needs presented by consumers and their communities.

Achieving Cultural Competence

  • “ on-going developmental process of personal reflection and growth.”
    • Reflect on your own cultural heritage, beliefs and biases.
    • Understand how power, privilege, oppression, discrimination, and stereotypes influence opportunities for different cultural groups.
    • Gain knowledge of other cultures.
    • Show respect and compassion for cultural differences.

Achieving Cultural Competence

  • Office of Minority Health produced guidelines for culturally competent health care: 14 standards for culturally and linguistically appropriate services (CLAS).
    • “…health organizations should ensure that patients receive from all staff members, effective, understandable, and respectful care that is provided in a manner compatible with their cultural beliefs, practices, and preferred language.”
  • U.S. Bureau of Primary Health Care:
    • “100% Access, 0 Disparities”

Wellness Movement

  • Changes in the leading cause of death from infectious diseases to chronic diseases.
    • Chronic diseases account for 7 out of 10 deaths.
  • Role of behavioral risk factors in disease and early mortality.
    • Cardiovascular disease is out nation’s #1 cause of death, followed by cancer.
    • Estimated 60% of adults are overweight or obese.
    • Physical inactivity, poor diet, and being overweight contribute to at least 1/3 of all cancers.

Health defined...

  • World Health Organization defines health as a “state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity.”
  • Incorporates the physical, mental, and social aspects of health.

Wellness defined ...

  • …state of optimal health and well-being.
  • …living life to the fullest and maximizing one’s potential as a whole person.
  • … 5 components - physical, emotional, social, intellectual, and spiritual.
  • …personal responsibility.
  • …impact of heredity and social context.

National Health Reports

  • Healthy People (1979)
    • Established national goals for improving health.
  • Objectives for the Nation (1980)
    • 226 public health objectives to be reached by 1990.
  • Healthy People 2000 (1990)
    • 3 goals to reach by 2000: increase healthy lifespan, reduce health disparities among populations groups, and access to health services for all.
  • Healthy People 2010
    • Comprehensive emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.

Healthy People 2010

  • A blueprint for improving the health of individuals and the health status of the nation.
  • Two main goals with 28 focus areas, and 467 specific objectives:
    • Increase quality and years of healthy life
    • Eliminate health disparities (differences that occur by gender, race and ethnicity, education and income, disability, geographic location, or sexual orientation)

Healthy People 2010

  • 10 leading health indicators that have helped individuals, institutions, and communities plan actions to improve health and provide a way to measure progress…
  • Physical Activity
  • Overweight and Obesity
  • Tobacco Use
  • Substance Abuse
  • Responsible Sexual Behavior
  • Mental Health
  • Injury and Violence
  • Environmental Quality
  • Immunization
  • Access to Health Care

Importance of Physical Activity

  • Regular physical activity:
    • helps maintain functional independence of elderly
    • prevents disease
    • assists in the management of many diseases
    • enhances the quality of life for ALL
    • reduces medical costs
    • increased productivity and decreased absenteeism at work and school
    • and many more…

Wellness Movement and Physical Education & Sport

  • Receive skills, knowledge, and values for physically active lifestyle.
  • School PE programs:
    • reach over 50 million children each year.
    • provide the foundation for participation in physical activity throughout one’s lifespan.
  • School worksite health promotion programs can reach over 5 million adults.
  • Use of school as a community center

PE’s Contribution to Healthy People 2010

  • Provides a means to discuss how the use of tobacco, alcohol, and drug abuse are deterrents to fitness.
  • Reinforce nutritional concepts and impact of nutrition on performance.
  • Teaches stress reduction techniques or how physical activity can alleviate stress.
  • Water safety instruction can help reduce the number of drownings, an objective of Healthy People 2010.

Task Force on Physical Activity (2001)

  • Released a report identifying 6 interventions that were effective in increasing physical activity:
    • Point-of-decisions prompts
    • Community-wide campaigns
    • School-based physical education
    • Social Support Interventions in community settings
    • Individually adapted health behavior change
    • Increased access to physical activity (new facilities, walking trails, worksite programs, etc.)


  • People of all ages can benefit from physical activity.
  • People can improve their health by engaging in a moderate amount of physical activity on a regular basis.
  • Greater health benefits can be achieved by increasing the amount of physical activity through changing the duration, frequency, or intensity of the effort.

Moderate physical activity is defined as physical activity that results in an energy expenditure of 150 calories a day or 1,000 a week.

  • Moderate physical activity is defined as physical activity that results in an energy expenditure of 150 calories a day or 1,000 a week.
  • Moderate physical activity engaged in on most, if not, all days a week yields health benefits.
  • Integration of moderate physical activity into one’s lifestyle.

National Children and Youth Fitness Study I (1985) & II (1987)

  • 1985: Two areas of concern:
    • Body composition and cardiorespiratory endurance
    • Only 36.3% of the students participated in daily school physical education.
  • 1987: Two areas of concern:
    • Cardiorespiratory endurance and upper body strength
    • Only 36.4% of students had daily physical education.
  • Overall, the nation’s youth was fatter than those of 1960.

School Health Policies and Programs Study 2000

  • As stated in 1996 by the Surgeon General’s report, this confirms that participation in physical activity declines as age or grade in school increases.

Centers for Disease Control amd Prevention 2000

  • Again, as school grade levels increase, enrollment in physical education AND daily physical education decrease.

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, & 1999

  • Males were typically more active than females; they participated in more vigorous, moderate, and strengthening exercises than females.
  • Caucasian students were more active than African Americans or Hispanic students.
  • 57.2% of students reported that they watched television 2 hours or less during a school day.
  • 56.1% were enrolled in physical education class, but only 29.1% participated in daily physical education.

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES)

  • Designed to obtain information about the health and diet of children, youths, and adults.
  • Uses the criteria of BMI value at or above the 95th percentile by age and sex to determine overweight.
  • 1999: 13% of children 6-11, 14% of 12-19 year-olds were overweight.
  • Prevalence of overweight adolescents increases the risk to become overweight adults, ultimately increasing the risk for many diseases.

Adults and

  • About 15% of adults engage regularly in vigorous physical activity (3 times a week for 20 minutes).
  • About 25% reported no physical activity during their leisure time.
  • People with disabilities were more inactive than adults without disabilities.
  • Physical activity is more prevalent among males than females; and Caucasians more than African Americans and Hispanics.
  • Physical activity appears to decline with age.
  • Walking is the most popular activity.

National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 1997 and 1998

  • 40% of adults (18 years and older) engaged in no leisure time activity.
  • 18% of adults engaged in physical activities to improve and maintain muscular strength and endurance.
  • 30% of adults performed stretching exercises.
  • Time constraints, access to convenient facilities, unsafe environments, lack of motivation, and lack of knowledge are frequent reasons for the lack of physical activity.

Physical Activity and Adults

  • Inactivity increases as age increased:
    • 31% of 18-24 year-olds participated in no leisure time activity, compared to 65% of adults 75 and older.
  • Inactivity decreased as the level of education attainment increased.
  • Most popular activities for adults 18 and older:
    • Walking (43.2%)
    • Gardening or yard work (28.1%)
    • Stretching exercises (27.2%)
    • Weightlifting or strengthening exercises (15.5%)
    • Biking or cycling (12.3%)
    • Jogging or running (10.6%)

Physical Activity and Adults

  • 61% of U.S. adults are either overweight or obese.
  • 35% of adults were overweight, and 27% of adults were obese. This is and 8% increase from NHANES II (1976-1980).
  • The picture of fitness and adults in our society is perplexing and contradictory---health club membership is booming, fitness participation remains steady, and overweight and obesity has reached epidemic proportions.

Physical Activity and Adults

  • American Sports Data (ASD) tracks data for the health club industry and reported in 2000:
    • 20% of adults exercise frequently (more than 100 times each year).
    • Membership at health clubs increased nearly 50% during the 1990s, however, annual health club turnover rates remain between 30% and 40%.
    • Over 5 million people employ a personal trainer.
  • Shift from cosmetic fitness to functional fitness

Physical Activity and Adults

  • Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association reported in 2000:
    • Between 1990 and 2000, free-weight training by both sexes increased 67%.
    • Women outnumber men in fitness walking, treadmill exercise, and most other cardiovascular exercises.
    • Increases in purchasing of home exercise equipment and athletic footwear.
    • Community programs and facilities have increased.


  • Establish policies that promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity.
  • Provide safe, physical and social environments that encourage physical activity.
  • Implement sequential physical education and health curriculums.
  • Provide diverse extracurricular physical activity programs.
  • Regularly evaluate physical activity instruction, programs, and facilities.

Recommendations (cont.)

  • Encourage parents and guardians to support their children’s participation in physical activity and be physically active role models.
  • Train teachers, coaches, staff, and community personnel to promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity.
  • Assess the physical activity patterns of young people.
  • Provide a range of developmentally appropriate community sports and recreation programs to attract all young people.

Educational Reform 1970s & 1980s

  • Why?
    • Public’s desire for accountability
    • Poor reading and math performance by students
    • Reduction of academic standards for high school graduation
    • Relaxation of requirements for college entrance
    • Loss of professional status by teachers

Educational Reform

  • Improvement of student learning
    • Greater emphasis on the basic subjects
    • Use of competency tests
    • More stringent graduation requirements
  • Improvement of teaching
    • Continuing education for teachers
    • Competitive salaries
    • Career ladders and advancement
    • More stringent entrance requirements
    • Improvements in teacher preparation

Educational Reform (cont.)

  • Improvements in the organization of schools and their funding
    • Lengthening of the school day and year
    • Formation of partnerships (schools and industries)
    • Increasing financial resources for economically disadvantaged school districts
  • Preparation of students to be lifelong learners

The Condition of Education 1994

  • All 50 states had implemented reforms.
  • Almost all states had increased graduation requirements and mandated student-testing standards.
  • More students are completing the recommended core curriculum.
  • Math and science achievement increased.
  • More students were attending college after graduating from high school.
  • High school dropout rate decreased by nearly half.

The Goals 2000: Education America Act

  • Established goals in 1994 for the year 2000 that would serve as benchmarks for progress in America’s schools:
    • Emphasized a more challenging curriculum and higher academic standards.
    • U.S. students would be first in the world in math and science achievement.
    • Improvement of readiness of children entering school
    • Enhancing the professional development of teachers
    • Promoting great parental and community involvement.

The Condition of Education 2000 &2001

  • Improvements had been made in math and science, but still a long way to go.
  • Reading and math achievement improved at all grade levels.
  • Improved access to computers.
  • More still needed to be done to enhance childhood readiness for school.

Disparities In Education

  • Minorities are educationally disadvantaged.
  • Those in poverty are more likely to have difficulty reading.
  • Gender gap is slowly closing.
    • Females read and write better than males, although males perform better in math and science.
  • Dropout rate differences across minorities.
    • Asian/Pacific Islander 3.8%
    • Caucasian, non-Hispanic 6.9%
    • African-American 13.1%
    • Hispanic 27.8%

Reasons for Educational Disadvantages

  • Lower level of parental education
  • Greater likelihood of living with a single parent
  • Fewer community resources
  • Disadvantaged schools less conducive to learning
  • Greater likelihood of living in poverty
  • Influx of English as a second language

Educational Reform and PE

  • Is PE a “frill” and nonessential to curriculum?
    • There has been increased time in schools for core academic subjects, thus reducing time for physical education, music, and art.
  • NASPE: PE should be an integral part of the school curriculum.
    • Physical education can affect both academic learning and the physical activity patterns of students.

How does PE help educational achievement?

  • Healthy children have more energy available for learning.
  • PE is important for the overall education of students.
  • Daily, quality PE programs can contribute to the attainment of our national health goals set out by Healthy People 2010.
  • Can reach disadvantaged children.
  • Developing healthy habits at a young age can encourage lifelong healthy lifestyles.

The 2001 Shape of the Nation

  • Illinois is the only state requiring daily physical education for all students K-12.
  • Many schools have waiver programs…
    • High physical competency test scores
    • Participation in community sports and community service activities
    • Medical reasons
    • Religious reasons
    • Participation in school sports, ROTC, marching band

The 2001 Shape of the Nation

  • Time spent in physical education:
    • elementary level ranged from 30 to 150 minutes; NASPE recommends 150.
    • Middle school ranged from 80-275; NASPE recommends 275 minutes.
    • High school varied from 0-225; NASPE recommends 225.
  • Most states have incorporated or are in the process of incorporating content standards for physical education.

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