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Policies » Section I: Instruction » IMAH: Daily Physical Activity

Policy Date: 04/15/2008

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1. Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to promote and to recommend increased physical activities
(30-60 minutes per day) for students in grades K–8 and to help students develop the
knowledge and skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities, maintain physical
fitness, regularly participate in physical activity, understand the short and long-term benefits
of physical activity, and value and enjoy physical activity as an ongoing part of a healthful
lifestyle. In addition, the Hooksett School District encourages the staff to participate in and
model physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.

2. Rationale
Regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do to maintain and
improve their physical health, mental health, and overall well-being. Additionally, regular
physical activity prevents adverse health consequences of childhood obesity and reduces the
risk of premature death in general and of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure,
colon cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes in particular. Promoting a physically active lifestyle
among young people is important because:
A. Through its effects on mental health, physical activity can help increase students’
capacity for learning and academic success;
B. Physical activity has substantial health benefits for children and adolescents, including
favorable effects of minimizing the health risks created by chronic inactivity, childhood
obesity, and other health-related problems and have a positive impact on endurance
capacity, mental health, muscular strength, body weight, and blood pressure; and
C. Positive experiences with physical activity at a young age help lay the foundation for
being regularly active throughout life.

3. Definitions
For the purposes of this policy:
A. “Extracurricular and co-curricular activities” refers to school-sponsored voluntary
programs that supplement regular education and contribute to the educational objectives
of the school.
B. “Health-risk” means factors that increase a person’s chance of suffering illness, injury, or
premature death.
C. “Interscholastic athletics” refers to organized individual and team sports that involve
more than one school.
D. “Intramurals” refers to physical activity programs that provide opportunities for all
students to participate in sports, fitness, and recreational activities within their own
E. “Developmentally appropriate daily physical activity” means physical activity that is
suitable for the cognitive age and individual characteristics of students.
F. “Physical education” refers to the program of physical education in Ed 306.
G. “Recess” refers to regularly scheduled periods within the school day for unstructured
physical activity and play.
H. “Chronic inactivity” means an ongoing sedentary lifestyle.
I. “Other related health problems” means:
• Physical illnesses;
• Psychological illnesses; and
• Injuries
J. “Childhood obesity” means the term used to describe children and teenagers ages 2-20
who are considered overweight because their body mass index as defined by the Center
for Disease Control and Prevention is greater than or equal to the 95th percentile.

4. Components of Policy
School leaders are encouraged to develop and implement a plan that supports physical
activity and that may include, but not be limited to the following practices, which:
A. Support special programs such as student and staff walking programs, family fitness
events and events that emphasize lifelong physical activities;
B. Provide time in the elementary school day for supervised recess with physical activities
C. Integrate health and physical activity across the school curriculum;
D. Offer opportunities and encouragement for students to initiate and voluntarily participate
in before and after-school physical activity programs that promote inclusive physical
activity on a school-wide basis, such as interscholastic sports, intramurals, clubs and
other extracurricular and co-curricular activities;
E. Establish school support for community recreation and youth sports programs and
agencies that complement physical activity programs;
F. Provide opportunities for professional development for all school staff that will assist
them to effectively promote enjoyable and lifelong physical activity among youth, and
that will assist staff to recognize their influence as role models for active lifestyles;
G. Commit adequate resources to include funding, personnel, appropriate equipment and
H. Institute a tracking and evaluation method to ensure that all students are engaging in
developmentally appropriate daily physical activity; and
I. Encourage parents and guardians to support their children’s participation in physical
activities and to be positive role models for active lifestyles.

The program should attempt to make effective use of school and community resources and to
equitably serve the needs of interested students and staff, taking into consideration differences
of gender, cultural norms, physical and cognitive abilities, and fitness levels. Additionally, a
school’s developmentally appropriate daily physical activity program as recommended by Ed 310
shall be in addition to and shall not be a replacement for the physical education program
requirement in Ed 306 and/or the Hooksett School District’s policies regarding physical education,
extra or co-curricular, intramural, and/or interscholastic athletics programs.

Schools may work with recreation agencies and other community organizations to coordinate and
enhance opportunities available to students and staff for physical activity during their out-ofschool
time. Schools are encouraged to negotiate mutually acceptable, fiscally responsible
arrangements with community agencies and organizations to keep school- or district-owned
facilities open for use by students, staff, and community members during non-school hours and
vacations. School policies concerning safety shall apply at all times.

Legal Reference:RSA 189:11-a; NH Ed Rule, Section Ed. 310

Adopted: November 15, 2005
Revised: April 15, 2008