Physical Activity & Physical Education

Schools can create an environment that offers many opportunities for students to be physically active throughout the school day, helping their students to meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity. A comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) is the national framework for physical education and youth physical activity. A CSPAP reflects strong coordination across five components: physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity before and after school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement.

Physical education serves as the foundation of a CSPAP and is an academic subject characterized by a planned, sequential K-12 curriculum that is based on the national standards for physical education. Physical education provides the opportunity for students to develop the knowledge, fitness levels, motor skills, and confidence needed to be physically active for a lifetime.

Physical activity during school can happen in a variety of settings and at all grade levels. The main ways students can participate in physical activity during the school day are recess, physical activity integrated into classroom lessons, physical activity breaks in and outside the classroom, and lunchtime club or intramural programs. Participation in recess, physical activity breaks, or physical activity integrated into lessons is associated with academic benefits, such as improving attentiveness, concentration, behavior, and time-on-task in the classroom. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: A Guide for Schools. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2013)

Schools can facilitate increased physical activity during the school day by encouraging students to be active; providing students with space, facilities, equipment and supplies that make participating in activity appealing; and providing organized times and structured physical activities for interested students.

Physical activity before and after school provides opportunities for all students to: 1) practice what they have learned in physical education, 2) work toward the nationally recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity, 3) become more adequately prepared for learning, 4) engage in safe, social, and supervised activities, and 4) identify activities they enjoy and might engage in long term. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: A Guide for Schools. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2013)

MDE Physical Education - Part of WSCC, this website is where you will find important information affecting physical education in Michigan Schools.

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: A Guide for Schools - CDC, in collaboration with SHAPE America, developed a step-by-step guide for schools and school districts to develop, implement, and evaluate comprehensive school physical activity programs.

National Framework for Physical Activity and Physical Education - Two pager from CDC and SHAPE America highlighting selected resources to support CSPAP.

Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT) - This self-assessment and planning guide is designed to help school districts and schools conduct clear, complete, and consistent analyses of physical education curricula, based upon national physical education standards. Schools can use the results of the PECAT to select, develop, or enhance existing physical education curricula.

Professional Organizations:
SHAPE Michigan
Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE America)