High time to exercise more than just brains

Published May 9, 2007

One in six children in America is considered overweight these days, which is reason enough to get them back on the playground. Florida's new push for daily exercise in elementary schools, then, is at least a jumping jack or two in the right direction.

Children will be required to get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, and they can thank their physically fit governor, Charlie Crist, for the opportunity. The legislative bill that provides this new directive, unfortunately, provides no new money to schools. That means the school day will remain the same length, and something else will give in its place.

As unfunded state education mandates go, though, this one is refreshing. After years of obsession with standardized testing, the state is considering the whole child again, and early physical education can lay a foundation for lifelong health. Growing up to be successful in life is not just about high FCAT scores.