|Title||Historical perspective and current status of the physical education graduation requirement at American 4-year colleges and universities.|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Cardinal, BJ, Sorensen, SD, Cardinal, MK|
|Journal||Research quarterly for exercise and sport|
|Date Published||2012 Dec|
This study gives an overview of the history of required physical education in America's 4 year colleges and universities and provides an update on the requirement status. After randomly identifying 354 institutions, we searched their respective websites to determine whether physical education was a requirement to earn a baccalaureate degree. The major finding was that the physical education requirement declined from an all-time high of 97% in the 1920s and 1930s to an all-time low of 39.55% in 2010. Given society's ongoing health challenges and the important role of physical activity in maintaining health, this seems counterintuitive. It is also inconsistent with the National Physical Activity Plan (2010).