University of Kentucky College of Education faculty member Aaron Beighle, who co-directs the Health & Wellness Lab within the Kentucky P20 Innovation Lab, will appear in the KET program “More Than Child’s Play: Why Physical Activity Matters” which debuts Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 9 p.m. EST.
According to a report from a White House task force, childhood obesity rates have tripled in recent decades. Kentucky now has the third highest rate of childhood obesity in the nation. Increased use of cars and video games, the reduction of physical education, and the availability of unhealthy foods all contribute to these statistics. However, there are ways to help all children be physically active, improving their health as well as their academic, emotional and social well-being.
“With increases in childhood obesity, a multi-faceted approach to increasing youth physical activity (PA) is needed,” said Beighle, an associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion. “Schools are being called on to lead the way in PA promotion for a variety of reasons. However, with budget constraints and increased levels of accountability for other academic areas, schools need innovative, cost-effective strategies for increasing physical activity that have health benefits as well as academic benefits. The evidence is quite clear that including physical activity in the school day provides both.”
“More Than Child’s Play” closely examines the causes, the serious consequences and the possible solutions to children’s sedentary lifestyles. The program visits Wellington Elementary, one of two new health and fitness magnet schools in Louisville, which already has attracted national attention for its innovative policies and cutting-edge fitness lab. Viewers also meet parents, students, teachers and administrators at Campbell Ridge Elementary School in Northern Kentucky, Hopkins Elementary in Somerset, Stanford Elementary School and Lexington’s Ashland Elementary, all of which are finding exciting new ways to make physical activity a priority.
“I think it’s important to educate the public but also provide assistance to schools,” Beighle said. “From my experience, schools are eager to integrate physical activity into the school day, particularly when they are provided strategies that have health benefits (e.g. PA) and can enhance learning.”
The program also looks at the role of community initiatives and policy changes in creating more opportunities for children to be physically active. Faith-based organizations like The King’s Center in Frankfort, community efforts like Paducah’s “Bikes on Broadway,” and statewide advocacy groups like the Partnership for a Fit Kentucky, among others, all participate in keeping Kentucky’s kids moving with the hope of producing a lifelong habit of activity that could move the needle on childhood obesity.
The program also will air on the following dates:
- KET: Thursday, January 27 at 3:00 a.m. EST
- KETKY: Thursday, January 27 at 11:00 a.m. EST
- KETKY: Sunday, January 30 at 4:00 p.m. EST
- KET: Monday, January 31 at 3:00 a.m. EST
- KETKY: Monday, January 31 at 9:00 a.m. EST
- KET: Tuesday, February 15 at 3:00 a.m. EST
“More than Child’s Play: Why Physical Activity Matters,” part of KET’s “Be Well Kentucky” health initiative, is a KET production, produced by Laura Krueger. This KET special report is funded in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. More information about KET programming and education services, as well as how to support KET, can be found at www.ket.org.
Special thanks to KET for contributing to this story.