A recent pole of around 3,000 teachers across the United States sheds some light on the most pressing health issues and behaviors impacting students today.
Responding to the question, What are the most pressing health issues affecting your students?, teachers across all grades overwhelmingly cited bullying (81%), nutrition (63%), and physical activity (56%). Other health issues that teachers noted include stress, body image, sleep, asthma, and weight control. In high school, the biggest health issue cited by teachers is alcohol use and abuse.
The survey was conducted by HealthTeacher, a leading provider of K-12 health lessons and resources used by teachers nationwide to improve student’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to key health issues, including physical activity, nutrition, bullying, stress and anxiety, and injury prevention.
“With kids spending 6-7 hours per day at school, teachers have a good perspective on the health issues affecting students,” said Scott McQuigg, CEO of HealthTeacher, Inc. “Teachers are concerned about the physical, social and emotional health of their students. They see first-hand the impact these health behaviors and risks have on their student’s ability to perform in school. Research clearly shows a link between the health of students and improved concentration, academic performance and student behavior.”
In fact, numerous scientific reviews (Basch, 2010*; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2010**) have documented that school health programs and improved health literacy can have positive effects on educational outcomes. Simply put — healthy kids make better students.
In acknowledgement of this research, leading school districts, along with teachers, parents, and other community stakeholders nationwide, continue to look to resources like HealthTeacher to help integrate health into their core curricula, considering this to be a crucial investment in their community’s future.
* Basch, C. E. (2010). Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in School Reforms to Close the Achievement Gap. Equity Matters: Research Review No. 6. New York: Columbia University.
** Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). The association between school based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
About HealthTeacher, Inc.
HealthTeacher uses healthy activities and lessons to improve kids’ behavior, engagement and achievement. Reaching over 7 million kids through its fast-growing network of 12,000+ schools in all 50 states, HealthTeacher’s interactive products — such as GoNoodle.com and Awesome Upstander! awesomeupstander.com — are used by teachers, parents, and children to to build health literacy skills, promote healthy habits from a young age, and establish personal responsibility for one’s own health. To learn more, visit healthteacher.com.