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Children's program supports national health agenda


April 12, 2010

In an effort to join the fight against youth obesity, ASU Professor Emeritus Chuck Corbin has developed "Fitness for Life: Elementary School" – a program to get kids moving and eating better.

Corbin’s program is a response to a national agenda addressing the obesity epidemic in the United States. According to statistics from the Centers For Disease Control, two-thirds of American adults are overweight or obese, and obesity among children has been increasing at a faster rate than adults since 1980.

“I have always believed that our best bet for helping people to be active and healthy for a lifetime is to get them early with enjoyable fun activities,” Corbin said. “This project is an extension of the K-12 Fitness for Life program that includes middle and high school modules.”

A long time faculty member, Corbin's career at ASU spanned more than 20 years (1982-2004) and focused on physical fitness, childhood obesity, physical activity promotion and wellness. With more than 80 published books and 200 journal publications, his research provided the basis for fitness tests that are currently included in national youth fitness test batteries. Currently a professor emeritus at ASU, Corbin continues to write texts and conduct research.

His program has garnered a lot of attention since its official debut at the 2010 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) convention in Indianapolis this past March. Corbin and co-authors Guy Le Masurier, Dolly Lambdin and Meg Griener made several presentations, including two training sessions for teachers during the AAHPERD convention.

In the months to come, Corbin said he hopes to tap more teachers and make the materials and videos associated with the program available to as many teachers as possible. The program is in alignment with First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative, a national campaign to solve the problem of childhood obesity within a generation, so that children born today will reach adulthood at a healthy weight and an adequate level of physical fitness.

“The next step is to give workshops nationwide to help teachers implement the program in their schools,” Corbin said. “I would love to show Mrs. Obama the videos and have her lead an exercise session for kids.”

Corbin has served as chair of the Science Board of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, and served as editor to its research digest. For more than 20 years, he has served on the Fitnessgram Advisory Board. His award-winning Fitness for Life program has been designed on National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) standards.

For more details on the program, visit www.fitnessforlife.org/elementary.