Study suggests that many California teens get no physical education in school

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Home isn't the only place that many teen just sit around. A new study indicates that more than one-third of California’s public high school students don’t get physical fitness during the school day, either.

The state requires it and doctors recommend it. But a UCLA study suggests that plenty of schools don’t follow through with the phys ed mandate.

Budget cuts and individual exemptions keep more than a million California teens from the 400 minutes of activity they’re supposed to get every 10 days. The rate of participation drops the older students get, and fewer girls than boys stay active in school-based physical education.

UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research conducted the study. Its authors and sponsors conclude that students miss out on more than buff bodies – they assert that exercise stimulates young minds and keeps them engaged in learning.

The chief of the California Endowment, the nonprofit that paid for the study, said schools shouldn’t avoid or sideline physical education because it’s “as essential to students’ academic success as reading, writing and arithmetic.”