The following are some notes and brief discussion of "why what we are doing is important". Part of being healthy is being "physically active"...

  1. "It appears more lives could be saved by changing physical activity habits of the population than by changing any other major CVD risk factor." (Sallis and McKenzie, 1991, p. 131)
  2. "Physical inactivity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) (Berlin and Colditz, 1990; Powell, Thompson, Caspersen, and Kendrick, 1987) and promotes premature mortality (Paffenbarger, Hyde, Wing, and Hsieh, 1986).
  3. "Even though epidemiologic data suggest adults could cut their risk of CVD in half by being regularly active (Berlin and Colditz, 1990; Powell, et al., 1987), at least 40% of American adults are extremely sedentary. (Caspersen, Christenson, and Pollard, 1986; Stephens, Jacobs, and White, 1985).
  4. "However, behavior change programs without physical education components do not seem effective in increasing physical activity or fitness in elementary school students." (Sallis and McKenzie, 1991, p. 130).
  5. "Other potential health benefits are more speculative. Physical activity in childhood and young adulthood is believed to enhance the uptake of calcium in the bones. High peak calcium content and slower loss of bone calcium are promoted by physical activity so fractures during later life should be prevented (Chestnutt, 1990), and bone health throughout life should be improved." (Smith, Smith, and Gilligan, 1990).
  6. "Some scientists believe development and maintenance of muscular strength and flexibility will prevent back pain and other injuries in adulthood." (Jopling, 1988).
  7. "Exercise continued through the middle and late years of life seems to give protection against colon cancer. Exercise seems to be good for almost everything--heart disease, diabetes, and cancer." (Harvard Alumni Health Study, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 1991).
  8. "Exercise can reduce diseases, including cancer, if the activity is maintained throughout life. Moderate activity is enough to make these health changes. Studies have shown exercise is invaluable for losing weight, reduction of heart disease, adjusting cholesterol to favorable levels and building up bone mass to prevent brittle bones." (McBride, 1991 ).
  9. "Physical activity is associated with reduced risk for coronary heart disease independent of cardiorespiratory fitness." (Becque, 1988).
  10. "Physical activity for extended duration can improve health through physiological changes that improve cholesterol, blood pressure, and body composition." (Janz, 1990).


Submitted by Diane Ruby and Val Kohlman who are Physical Eductors in the St. Vrain Valley School District in Longmont and Niwot, CO. Thanks so much for sharing your collected information with PE Central!
Back to Defending PE Program Page