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Table 2 Physical education and physical activity program characteristics in elementary, middle, and high schools in the participating school districts (n = 23)

From: Investigating best practices of district-wide physical activity programmatic efforts in US schools– a mixed-methods approach

  Elementary Middle High
PE requirements and offerings, overall and in relation to recommendations
 Sample districts with a minimum PE requirement (min/wk) for students (%) 87 87 78
 Nationally representative districts with a minimum PE requirement for students (%)a,b 78 72 80
 Sample district PE requirement, min/wk. (mean, range) 96 (0–225) 160 (0–275) 184 (0–337)
 District PE requirement meets or exceeds IOM recc (%) 17 35 52
PA offerings overall
 Sample districts that require recess for students (%) 74 22 0
 Nationally representative districts that require recess for students (%)a 59
 Sample districts that offer school-based PA programs (%)c 100 74 61
 Nationally representative districts that offer school-based PA programs (%)a,d 45 34 14
 Average number of school-based PA programs offered in sample districts (mean, range) 5.5 (2–14) 3.5 (0–10) 2.1 (0–7)
 Average number of after-school programs offered in sample districts (mean, range)e 1.5 (0–3) 1.7 (0–3) 1.1 (0–3)
  1. Abbreviations: PE Physical education; min Minutes; wk Week; IOM Institute of Medicine; rec Recommendations
  2. aNationally representative data were presented wherever available. Results from the nationally representative sample of districts were abstracted and calculated from the Centers for Disease Control’s School Health Policies and Practices Study (SHPPS) [10]. The most recently available data on Physical Activity and Physical Education were from 2012
  3. bRespondents were asked to indicate whether their district had any time requirements (min/wk., credit hours/year, etc.), so we are unable to differentiate based on min/wk. alone
  4. cIOM recommends 150+ min/wk. of physical activity for Elementary students and 225+ min/wk. for middle/high school students. These values only represent time spent in PE and do not account for time spent in other sources of physical activity (i.e. recess, classroom PA breaks, etc.)
  5. dSchool day PA programs defined as any program offered during the school day outside of PE (includes classroom physical activity breaks)