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Physical education-as-health promotion : recent developments and future issues

Kirk, David (2018) Physical education-as-health promotion : recent developments and future issues. Education and Health, 36 (3). pp. 70-75. ISSN 2049-3665

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Health and wellbeing have become increasingly visible within physical education discourse globally in the past two to three decades. Historically, health has been present in discourse about physical education since, for example in Britain, at least the beginning of compulsory mass schooling in the late 19th century (eg. Kirk, 1992). The emergence of a notion of physical education-as-sport-techniques in the UK in the 30 years period following the end of WW2 resulted for a time in a sport-based rationale dominating arguments for physical education's place in the school curriculum (Kirk, 2010). Since the 1980s, however, with the development of a scientific field of exercise science and medicine in universities and the emergence of the 'new health consciousness' (Crawford, 1980) in society more generally, a health-based rationale has been advocated, increasingly within the context of combating the so-called 'obesity crisis' and other diseases associated with a sedentary lifestyle (Kirk, 2006).