SETH -- Students at Sherman High School and across West Virginia strapped on their dancing shoes for Let’s Move-A-Palooza West Virginia.
Move-A-Palooza is a coordinated effort to have schoolchildren take part in the Cha-Cha Slide at exactly 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2.
“Studies show that when students are active they learn better,” said Sherman High School Physical Education Teacher Chris McGee.
The celebration was another step in the West Virginia Department of Education’s (WVDE) push to get students moving in the classroom.
“Given the significant amount of time students spend at school, it is a key place for kids to get a portion of the recommended 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day,” said state Superintendents of Schools Jorea Marple. “Physical education class and recess are built into the school day but I would like to see schools use a combination of strategies to help children get an additional 15 minutes of daily exercise.”
Let’s Move-A-Palooza West Virginia is part of the larger Let’s Move! WV Active Schools Campaign. More than 250 schools and 82 thousand students participated in the event.
The plan itself aims to diminish serious health issues by supporting healthy living and to increase the quality of life for every West Virginian.
According to the latest state Behavioral Risk Factor Survey, 31 percent of West Virginians report no leisure time physical activity — such as running, golf, gardening or walking for exercise — in any given month. That’s the fifth highest percentage in the United States, where the national average is 25.5 percent.
More reasons to get moving — West Virginia has the highest prevalence of cardiovascular disease and strokes, while ranking second in the nation for diabetes and smoking and third for obesity.
West Virginians have made significant strides since the mid-1990s, when physical inactivity peaked at 45.3 percent of residents. But the percentage has grown since 2004, when it bottomed out at 24.5 percent.