LOHAS-Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability Exercise Stations
Converting unused classrooms into LOHAS spaces
Taiwan is a subtropical country. Its hot and rainy climate often interferes with students'physical education classes and events. According to a 2007 school physical education report, only 50.1% of elementary school students exercised regularly. The percentage decreases as they grow older. The ministry therefore considered it an urgent task to help students form good exercise habits.
Subsidization of LOHAS Exercise Stations gives schools an incentive to put their creativity to good use by converting their unused classrooms into sports facilities. More importantly, the ministry hopes, with establishment of the stations, physically disadvantaged students (e.g. students who don't enjoy exercising, who are physically less fit and who don't exercise regularly) can form good exercise habits. Since the program launch, each year more than 100 schools have applied for a subsidy. So far more than 400 classrooms have been converted into simple sports facilities.
Both teachers and students love creative LOHAS Exercise Stations
Taoyuan County's Wun Chang Junior High School is one of the schools that have successfully taken advantage of the program. With the help of the school's physical education teachers, the school converted nine unused classrooms into a physical fitness classroom, a baseball/softball pitching practice area, a basketball shooting practice area, a table tennis classroom and a billiards practice area. Teachers and students love them.
Junior high school students are not the only ones who love these stations. Elementary school students are fascinated by them as well. Tainan Municipal Jinsyue Elementary School's "Forest Bear LOHAS Exercise Station" was inaugurated in November 2007. Apart from a physical fitness classroom, a rock-climbing and gymnastics classroom is in place to help students improve their coordination. In addition, there is a LOHAS Sports classroom equipped with foosball, ice hockey, basketball arcades etc for students to conduct group competitions, thereby increasing their motivation and interest. The station is open to teachers, students and community residents to encourage them to form good exercise habits.
Unlike subsidization of schools' sports equipment procurement, the program is intended to encourage creative use of unused classrooms, with schools permitted to use a small portion of their subsidies to purchase hi-tech sports equipment in an attempt to increase students' interest. One year after program launch, people love these stations, the benefits of which are beginning to emerge. For more information on various schools' LOHAS Exercise Stations, visit the LOHAS Exercise Stations website at http://www.thewisdommedia.com/ncue/home.html.
We hope, with this program and similar programs, our children can learn and grow in a safe and happy environment. We hope facilities such as Dance Dance Revolution, trampolines, basketball arcades, baseball pitching targets and simple rock-climbing facilities will help everyone form good exercise habits and forge team spirit through group competition.