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Andrea Alonte

Mary Green
Alyssa Wade
Michelle Bravo
Monica Hernandez
Rosalie Michaud
Christopher Dobson
Kaleigh Dodson
Surf PE
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death throughout the world. As of
2004, 17.1 million deaths were attributed to this highly preventable disease [1]. A substantial
amount of research data has documented supportive evidence that regular physical activity can
help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease [1, 3, 7, 31]. Major risk factors for cardiovascular
disease include Type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, lack of fitness, and sedentary living [3, 7].
Origins of cardiovascular disease begins in childhood [1, 4, 5, 31, 32]. Recently physical activity
in youth has posed a great concern due to the rising numbers of children at risk for several
diseases, namely cardiovascular disease [31]. The alarming statistics of at risk children in the
nation has served as the primary impetus for public health initiatives and program interventions
[5, 7, 12, 13]. Organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have developed
guidelines for school and community programs to help promote lifelong physical activity among
youth [16]. The health objective is to encourage improved exercise habits in youth through
structured programs that aims to reduce risk for cardiovascular disease.
One opportunity for children to secure structured regular physical activity is through
school-based programs such as Physical Education (PE) [12, 14, 20, 22, 35]. Physical Education
curriculum has initiated new strategies and interventions to address their ineffectiveness in
meeting the students health needs [20]. A review on effectiveness of interventions to increase
physical activity reported that only 27% of students in grades (9-12) participate in physical
activity as recommended by public health officials. New research has studied different types of
strategies for introducing class activities that focus on reducing risk for cardiovascular disease [1,
4, 6, 9, 11, 14, 15, 22, 37, 38]. The new strategies have only investigated the effects of class
duration and activity intensity on physical fitness. While these factors may still contribute to
preventing risk for CDV, other factors are still worthy of exploring.
The students preference and skill can determine the likeliness of being active and
indirectly affects their risk for cardiovascular disease [4, 8]. A factor to reconsider is the type of
activity students are required to participate in. Traditional PE activities include team sports and
group activities [38]. In the same studies that scrutinized the effectiveness of PE programs,
researchers reported that the students lack of participation was due to lack of interest and ability
to perform the activity [13, 14]. So although the curriculum cannot be tailored to any one
individual, there needs to be a way to address the needs of the unmotivated students.
Generally, enjoyable activities have been known to improve the likeliness of participating
in regular physical activities [5, 16]. Significant research supports that recreational or leisure
time activities (i.e. dance, skateboarding, surfing, soccer etc.) have cardiovascular implications
[9,10, 18, 19, 28]. While the knowledge about recreational health benefits is not new,
incorporating recreational activities into PE curriculum is. Public health programs have been
urged to come up with ways to be more reinventive and accommodating for the unique needs of
those in the community; proposing such radical interventions in the PE system may be necessary
for the best interest of our youth [5, 7, 12, 13, 36]. Implementing unconventional activities that
are more engaging, as a part of the initiative for PE reform, can be an indirect means of
protecting youth from chronic adult illnesses.
One such activity that has gained popularity over the years is surfing. Few studies have
explored the health implications of this recreational activity but those that have report data
mostly on competitive surfers [11, 26,27,29,33]. Nevertheless, researchers have documented how
the physiological responses suggest cardiovascular health implications . Researchers reviewed
how the nature of the sport demands high anaerobic power as well as excellent cardiovascular
endurance [11, 26]. Moreover, the element of high interval training is manifest in the time-
sensitive requirements of the sport and randomness of the environment [38, 39, 40]. Knowing
that surfing promotes an aerobic and high intensity interval experience, recreational surfing may
be a candidate activity for potential PE interventions to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease
in youth.
No studies have looked at the health implications of recreational surfing in a school-
based program. Our study answers the question: If a PE program was designed around a
physical activity eliciting beneficial health implications that students are interested in
participating in, could this program be a way to address current health issues?
In our study we will be focusing on cardiovascular health and comparing our data to the
standards set by known ranges of health. We hypothesis that participating in recreational surfing
for 60 minutes a day as a physical education course will cause students to have a heart range that
will have beneficial cardiovascular adaptations based on the ACSM standards of exercise.
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