In US, Gym-Class Injuries Up 150% in Past Decade

Large class sizes, fewer school nurses may be to blame
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2009 4:52 PM CDT
In US, Gym-Class Injuries Up 150% in Past Decade
Students at the Emerson Middle School in Niles, Ill., watch and encourage other students on the high jump during a physical-education class.   (AP Photo)

American kids are suffering 150% more injuries in gym class than a decade ago, the AP reports. Over that period, a study found, there has been a renewed emphasis on physical-education class as a way to inculcate students with healthy habits and prevent obesity. But the increase in injuries may be due to lax supervision, the senior author says, rather than increasing amounts of exercise.

Shrinking education budgets across the US have reduced the numbers of school nurses and increased class sizes. In addition, some districts don’t require PE teachers to be certified. “Classroom teachers who aren’t trained in PE might not recognize situations that can cause injury,” said a rep for the National Association for Sports and PE. (More physical education stories.)

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