Physical Activity in Schools: New Opportunities and Old Favorites

Due to the childhood obesity crisis, the public is looking to schools to utilize every opportunity to expose children to physical activity programming.  Yet, we know that the majority of school–age students do not meet the CDC guidelines for 60 minutes of physical activity daily. It is combining the minutes from physical education, recess, after school physical activities, and sports teams that children move closer to the 60 minutes per day guideline.

This page is devoted to organizations that provide support to schools in creating more physically active environments.

To kick off the concept of physical activity in schools we invited Judy LoBianco, the Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Nursing Services at South Orange-Maplewood Schools in New Jersey.  Ms. LoBianco was the 2013 Administrator of the Year for the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD).   In the video presentation she shares her strategies for getting students more physically active in her schools.

List of Agencies that help bring physical activity to schools

Action for Healthy Kids

Action for Healthy Kids® fights childhood obesity, undernourishment and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places so kids can live healthier lives. A signature program is the Healthy Kids Pledge.  Their programs and services  meet the growing need in the areas of school nutrition,  physical activity,  to expert coaching on how to develop, implement and evaluate a school wellness policy or action plan.

Alliance for a Healthier Generation

The Healthy Schools Program is helping people in all walks of life to turn their schools into healthier environments. Just a few of the tools available on their website include: Resource DatabaseSuccess Stories Database, Product Navigator,  and Experts in the Field to name just of few of their many resources.

American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD)

Provides a number of resource documents for evaluating physical education programs and recess recommendations. The have best practices resource , PE Standards and position statements that support various physical activity programs like Physical Education and Recess. NASPE has created resource briefs on popular topics dealing the physical education and physical activity.

Center for Disease Control (CDC)

Coordinated school health (CSH) is recommended by CDC as a strategy for improving students’ health and learning in our nation’s schools.  A few of their resources are Guidelines for Coordinating School Health Programs, Making the Connection: Health and Student Achievement, Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool,  Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool, and the School Health Index: A Self-Assessment and Planning Guide.

The Healthy Schools Campaign

The Healthy Schools Campaign is a leading voice for people who care about children, education and our environment according to their website. There are two school programs: 1) Fit to Learn-With the help of Fit to Learn®, teachers are seamlessly integrating wellness into the classroom environment and the school experience and 2) Cooking Up Change, Students across the nation are rewriting the recipe for school food.

Tips for Teachers: Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity in the Classroom (CDC)

New resource from CDC to share with your child’s teachers. Covers Healthier Fundraisers, Creating a Physically Active Classroom,  Making Recess A Part of Each Day, Do Not use Physical Activity as Punishment, and many more.

Let’s Move Initiative

The key goals First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative has worked toward over the past four years, which include inspiring a cultural shift that “helps families support kids’ health, creating a demand for healthier products, ensuring that the healthy choice is the easy choice for families, and increasing physical activity for kids across the country.” (Let’s Move Website).  The school program is Let’s Move Active Schools. The website has a number of resources and provides technical assistance through a Physical Activity Leaders (PAL’s network).

President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

The President’s Council has a number of programs and initiatives to help inspire children and leaders to be active, eat well, and get healthy.The signature program of PCPFSN is  The Presidential Youth Fitness Program is a comprehensive school-based program that promotes health and regular physical activity for America’s youth. The President’s Challenge, the long-standing awards program of the President’s Council, helps people of all ages and abilities improve their fitness, physical activity, and nutrition habits through a suite of recognition programs.

Physical Activity Evaluation Handbook – CDC

Recognition of the importance of physical activity has reached a new height in America.  Physical activity programs must be evaluated to reflect on our progress, see where we’re going and where we’ve come from, share what we’ve learned with our colleagues, put money to nonduplicative use, and improve our programs. After all, we will be held
accountable.

Press Release: Fitness FunZone Court Tackles Childhood Obesity
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USDA School Nutrition Program Information

Provides information on the School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, Team Nutrition, and USDA School Meal Regulations Website to name a few of the many resources that are available.

Articles

Students learn that active bodies lead to active minds.  by Anna Oberthur   Edutopia Blog

Students Learn that Active Bodies Lead to Active Minds
Students Learn that Active Bodies Lead to Active Minds
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