The intent of the North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study is to establish competency goals and objectives for the teaching and learning of behaviors that contribute to a healthful lifestyle and improved quality of life for all students.

The NC Healthful Living Standard Course of Study is a combination of two content areas: health education and physical education. The two courses should complement each other as reflected in the Essential Standard Strands and Clarifying Objectives. Attention should also be given to ensure students experience a comprehensive sequential educational program that involves learning a variety of skills and concepts that are health-enhancing.

In addition to the Elementary and Middle School grade level expectations for Healthful Living as outlined by the North Carolina Healthful Living Essential Standards, a minimum of 1 credit of Healthful Living, which reflects both Health Education and Physical Education, is required for graduation from a North Carolina public high school.