Original Article

Annals of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 45, Supplement 1, pp 131-141

First online:

District and School Physical Education Policies: Implications for Physical Education and Recess Time

  • Monica A. F. LounsberyAffiliated withUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas Email author 
  • , Thomas L. McKenzieAffiliated withSan Diego State University
  • , James R. MorrowJr.Affiliated withUniversity of North Texas
  • , Shannon M. MonnatAffiliated withUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas
  • , Kathryn A. HoltAffiliated withUniversity of Nevada, Las Vegas



The relationship between physical education (PE) policies and children’s PE and recess time is not well understood.


The purpose of this study is to assess the association of district and school PE policies, the PE environment, and PE and recess time.


Key informants in 65 schools from 9 states completed instruments assessing district and school PE policies, the school PE environment, and time in PE and recess.


Few significant associations were found between PE policies and PE or recess minutes; no policies were associated with both. A number of PE environmental variables were associated with both policies and time in PE and recess.


PE policies, their implementation, and PE environmental variables can have important implications for recess time. Some school PE environment measures designed to improve PE may result in PE time limitations. Deficiencies in PE and recess time are not likely to be effectively addressed through policy adoption alone.


Physical education Recess School physical activity Physical education policy Physical activity policy