Legislating Playtime by the Minute

Oklahoma school children under the 7th grade will now be required to play at least 150 minutes per week during school hours (as opposed to the previous requirement of 60 minutes per week), under a bill [House Bill 2574] by Rep. Jeff Hickman, R-Dacoma.

This bill is part of the healthcare agenda of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy:

Expand Physical Education in School – HB 2574 (Hickman / Jolley); SB 1186 (Easley); HB 3258 (Pittman) Increase the current PE requirement for grades K-5 from 60 minutes per week to 120 minutes per week. The additional 60minutes would consist of health education based on the national standards for health education, with topics to be determined by local school boards, and 30 minutes of additional physical activity through fitness breaks, recess, and classroom activities.

Playtime minutes have been decreasing in recent years to make time for other subjects like anger management for 1st-4th graders and avoiding addictionfor 5th-8th graders.

But now it has been brought to the attention of lawmakers that decrease playtime actually contributes to childhood obesity (who knew?!), and they are on a mission to rectify that…by legislating playtime by the minute.

Update: For details on the proposed legislation, see RedOrbit’s SENATE ROUNDUP: Measures Focus on Physical Education, Graduation Rates.

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