Student Health and Wellness
STUDENT HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Up to 34 percent of children and teenagers in the United States today are considered to be overweight or obese, the prevalence of which varies by ethnic group. Though not all obese children become obese adults, obesity tends to increase with age among both males and females, and there is a greater likelihood that early childhood obesity will persist through the life span. Numerous physical risks and psychological problems exist for obese children: pediatric hypertension; Type II diabetes mellitus; coronary heart disease; stress on the weight-bearing joints; lower self-esteem; and, negative relationships with peers. Evidence also exists that healthy, active children learn better and achieve best when they are physically fit. Cardiovascular exercise literally builds new brain cells. Exercise has also been shown to improve attention span and focus, lower anxiety and depression levels, and result in fewer discipline incidents - all factors that impact learning. After students exercise, tehy are less impulsive. Their motivation to learn is increased and they have less desire to get out of their chairs and move around.
The Iowa Business Council supports initiatives that seek to develop healthy, active, productive school children who will eventually grow to become healthy, active, productive adults such as:
* IBC/PE4life Adopt-A-School Challenge: PE4life is a national non-profit advocacy organization committed to inspiring and promoting active, healthy lifestyles in children through access to quality, health-related school physical education programs. The IBC/PE4life Adopt-A-School Challenge seeks to develop an enriched culture of active, healthy lifestyles for children in 50 elementary and secondary schools throughout Iowa. For move information, please visit the link above.