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The goal of this section is to expand students' understanding of physical activity
beyond organized sports. By extending their view of physical activity, students
will recognize that organized sports (e.g., playing on the football or soccer
team), less competitive or personal fitness activities (e.g., swimming with friends
or weight training), lifetime sports (e.g., golfing or walking), and some everyday
activities (e.g., walking their dog, dancing to their favorite song, or mowing
the lawn) are all forms of physical activity. As students understanding grows,
they will determine that they already participate in physical activities to some
extent and gain confidence to expand upon their activities.
- Describe the health benefits associated with physical activity.
- Relate physical activities to a wide range of events besides organized sports.
- Maintain an accurate log of data on personal physical activity.
National educational standards that correspond to this activity appear below.
Grades 5-8 and grades 9-12 standards are listed to address those middle schools
that include ninth grade.
National Science Education Standards
Grades 5-8, Standard F
Grades 9-12, Standard F
- Regular exercise is important to the maintenance and improvement of health.
The benefits of physical fitness include maintaining a healthy weight, having
energy and strength for routine activities, good muscle tone, bone strength,
strong heart/lung systems, and improved mental health. Personal exercise,
especially developing cardiovascular endurance, is the foundation of physical
- Individuals can use a systemic approach to thinking critically about risks
and benefits. Examples include applying probability estimates and comparing
them to estimated personal benefits.
- Important personal and social decisions are made on perceptions of benefits
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
- Personal choice concerning physical fitness and health involves multiple
factors. Personal goals, peer and social pressures, ethnic and religious beliefs,
and understanding of biological consequences can influence decisions about
Chapter 6, Benchmark E, Grades 6-8
National Health Education Standards
- Regular exercise is important to maintain a healthy heart/lung system, good
muscle tone, and bone strength.
- Students will be able to reduce the risks related to adolescent health problems.
- Students will explain the importance of assuming responsibility for personal
- Students will analyze a personal health assessment to determine health strengths
- Students will apply strategies and skills needed to attain personal health
BAM! Body and Mind Resources:
- Activity Cards — Information
on many physical activities; how to play, gear needed, safety tips, and expert
- Physical Activity Section — Many articles
and features on physical activity and staying fit. Includes a personal physical