Longer school day should make room for physical fitness

Re “Longer school day plan widens” (December 3): As the funder of programs designed to prevent and combat childhood obesity, I strongly support plans to test the benefits of an expanded school day here in the Commonwealth. Clearly, there are many academic reasons to extend learning time. Yet the opportunity for more physical activity during the school day is equally compelling.

While the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children spend at least an hour each day participating in physical activity, only 42 percent of those age 6 to 11 and fewer than 8 percent of adolescents age 12 to 19 actually reach that goal.


In addition to helping to avert a long list of health issues associated with overweight and obesity, including diabetes and heart disease, physical activity is closely tied to academic achievement. Without question, an expanded school day can help ensure that our children exercise their bodies and their minds. This combination of physical fitness and academic rigor is essential for a healthy and successful life.

Karen Voci

Executive director

Harvard Pilgrim

Health Care Foundation


Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com