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In: Handbook of Physical Education

Chapter 10: Public Health and Physical Education

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Public Health and Physical Education
Public health and physical education

School physical education programs have long been concerned with the health and well-being of young people. The link between school physical education and public health can be traced back to as early as 1850, when Lemuel Shattuck recommended that schools provide physical training as a means of promoting personal and public health in the state of Massachusetts (Shattuck, 1850). The German and Swedish gymnastics systems, which dominated school physical education programs during the latter half of the 19th century, were based on the premise that personal health and well-being were achieved through rigorous exercise (Welch, 1996). The development of the AAHPER Youth Fitness Test and the introduction of mass fitness testing into the physical education curriculum ...

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