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Lawmakers Hammer Out Compromise On Physical Education Bill

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DENVER (CBS4) – A bill that would make physical education mandatory in schools got a step closer to becoming law on Tuesday. A compromise was hammered out that allowed it to pass.

Colorado is one of just two states in the country without the requirement.

Colorado is known as a lean state, but a recent study found one in four children in Colorado are overweight.

“There is an increase in obesity so were finding that our trends are going up as it relates to childhood obesity,” said Rep. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora.

Under House Bill 1069, students in elementary school would have to exercise at least 30 minutes a day while in school. That could be in the form of recess, regular gym class, or a short fitness break.

“If there’s not a requirement to encourage them, then they’re taking that lifestyle into middle school, high school and adulthood,” Fields said.

The bill has received bipartisan support.

On Tuesday a committee met to cut a Senate-driven section of the bill pertaining to boys. It says boys especially need exercise because they’re more likely to be misdiagnosed as having ADHD.

“We felt the language was too stereotypical against boys; targeting boys as needing more physical activity,” Fields said.

Sponsors say both boys and girls can benefit from exercise, especially because healthy children are better learners, have better attendance and are less likely to have behavioral problems.

“Everyone can benefit from being fit and active.”

The bill now goes back to the House.

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