"By enhancing physical education in Alaska's schools, we can improve children's health and academic performance."
- Rep. McGuire
According to the American Obesity Association, more than 30% of U.S. children and adolescents are overweight or obese. Overweight and obese children are more likely to become overweight and obese adults plagued by a litany of diseases including diabetes and all its complications, cardiovascular disease, cancers, depression, high cholesterol, hypertension, and severe arthritis.
Evidence has also shown a link between physical fitness and higher academic performance. Alaska does not currently impose any statewide standards for physical education in schools.
HB128 establishes a task force to come up with recommendations for the best approach to effectively and economically maximize physical activity in Alaska's schools within existing infrastructures.
The task force will be made up of school officials (from both urban and rural areas), physicians, a member from the Department of Education and Early Development, and legislators. They will be charged with coming up with a proposal for increasing physical education in schools that works within the existing infrastructure of Alaska's schools.
The task force will be asked to look at several possibilities including whether new laws or regulations are needed to allow schools to provide the maximum amount of physical activity, whether state school construction requirements should be changed to facilitate needed physical activity in the future, and whether after-school activity programs in addition to programs during school hours would be effective.
We believe that too many children suffer from the consequences of diabetes and obesity. By enhancing physical education in Alaska's schools, we can improve children's health and academic performance.