This research brief, the first in a two-part series on physical activity in schools, provides a general overview of physical activity legislation in the states. The second brief in this series will discuss the different arguments regarding how recess and physical educa- tion should be structured.
Over the last 30 years, obesity has tripled among children and youth ages 6-19 years old, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Healthy eating and regular exercise play a crucial role in preventing obesity. But state leaders increasingly are focused on addressing obesity and promoting physical activity in schools through policies such as mandatory recess.