Capstone Project (Open Access)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
Despite substantial evidence of the countless cognitive and physical benefits physical education in elementary school classrooms provides, some schools in the United States do not offer an adequate combination of both physical activity and education about nutrition, health, and wellbeing. To fully encapsulate the subject of Health and Wellness Education (HWE), students must not only be engaged physically outside of the classroom, but they must also be engaged holistically with an equal emphasis on mind, body, and spirit inside the classroom. This student engagement would include daily lessons regarding mental wellbeing, a consistent and reserved period for physical activity, and the ability to analyze the nutritional value of meals they are offered inside and outside of the school cafeteria to make healthier choices on their own. Not only is it necessary for schools to make room for these curricular modifications, but it is also imperative to consistently provide them throughout the entire school year and a child's whole elementary experience. If children are not steadily receiving HWE, they are at risk of becoming obese, falling into the stigmatized world of anxiety or depression without self-help skills, and potentially developing life-threatening diseases such as type two diabetes, certain cancers, and cardiovascular disease later in life. This paper will explore the many ways that HWE can be positively implemented in elementary schools to avoid this growing epidemic.
Ackley, Kimberly, "The Importance and New Interpretation of Physical Education in the Elementary School Setting: Health and Wellness Education" (2018). Capstone Projects and Master's Theses. 282.