Healthy eating and physical activity solutions for kids

4 Physical Activity Questions Answered

You asked and we found the answers!   SPARK, Healthy Kids Challenge's Partner in Health for Physical Education and Activity, shared some of their expertise with us in a three-part blog series. 

This month we're featuring answers to four physical education and activity questions we hear most from teachers.

1.  Some kids are so competitive and into sports and others who aren’t so inclined often feel left out in recreational sport activities, but do enjoy participating.  Suggestions?

Choose activities that are less sport oriented and use ones that ensure everyone is moving at the same time. If there are teams involved they should be small in numbers so all students have the opportunity to participate.  Finding activities that focus on movement and not “athletic ability” helps all students feel comfortable participating.

2.  What works for discipline instead of taking away recess time or the whole recess? 

Focus on positive behaviors. By choosing to provide only consequences we are focusing on the negative behavior.  Instead try increasing appropriate behavior and choosing content that encourages students to stay on task.  Focusing on rewarding and encouraging positive behavior goes a long way in reaching the behavior you desire in your students. 

3.  I need ideas for brain breaks in the classroom, where do I go to get some?

There are a lot of websites that have great ideas and valuable information supporting the need for brain breaks in the classroom.  Some websites include Action-Based Learning (, Brain Gym (, and North Carolina Physical Education is Active (

4.  Who makes the rules for the amount of PE time in school each week?  Does it change as the kids get older?

The mandates are usually made at the state level with a minimum number of minutes per week required.  It is up to individual districts and schools to enforce these requirements and they are able to increase the number of minutes required if they choose to do so.  As students move from elementary school to middle school and high school, the number of required minutes increases.  In many states, 150 minutes is required at the elementary level and 225 minutes is required at the secondary level. 

Let us know what you think of these questions and answers!  If your school needs to develop a healthier environment, together, SPARK and HKC offer an "IGNITE a Healthy Environment" Program (Click here for more info).