PE Class Shifts Away from Sports, Towards Fitness

Jul 22, 2015

Gym class used to be as simple as learning the rules to a sport, practicing that sport, playing a scrimmage, and moving on. Now, the bar is set a bit higher. Charity Campbell is a physical education teacher at Norwalk Middle School. She says physical education has shifted to instilling habits that go beyond the classroom.

"As we're making that shift with our health crisis today, we're making sure our students are active the entire class. We're giving them a variety of activities to try and do, but not perfect the skills."

In order to ensure the students are active the entire class, Campbell's students wear fitness trackers. If the trackers show that they've moved for 25 of the 45 minutes, they get full marks.

'We've shifted our focus to teach the importance of physical activity in our students lives," she says. "[We] have them reflect on their own physical activity, what they are doing on a daily basis, and how they can improve their physical activity and take it beyond school."

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Campbell about kids fitness. Dr. Vanessa Curtis, clinical assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and Yang Bai, graduate research assistant in Kinesiology at Iowa State University, also join the conversation.