In recent years evidence has accumulated to document the importance of physical activity to lifelong health and fitness. This paper is based on the assumption that a primary goal of physical education is to promote lifetime physical activity. Common misconceptions are described and alternatives for change are proposed: (a) recognizing the unique physical activity needs of youth; (b) promoting opportunities for girls; (c) changing our focus from fitness to physical activity; (d) promoting self-esteem and feelings of competence among youth; (e) narrowing the scope of our objectives; and (f) emphasizing self-management skills in high school to help youth adopt active living as adults. The suggestions are based on scientific evidence and the author’s own experience.
Editors’ Note: This is an Invited Paper, which Dr. Corbin presented in his capacity as the Alliance Scholar Lecture at the AAHPERD National Convention in Boston, April 1999. Charles B. Corbin is with the Dept. of Exercise and Wellness, Arizona State University-East, Tempe, AZ 85212.