Help Kids Stay Active

childhood obesity schoolCreating and promoting active environment in schools :

Children spend most of their time in school. Schools and teachers play a pivotal role in providing active environment. Schools should provide a health-promoting environment, healthy food options, and other information, tools, and practical strategies to help students engage in physical activity and healthy eating.
Here are some actions that teachers and schools can take in providing and encouraging physical activity among students.

Promote opportunities for students to engage in physical activity :

preventing child obesity through increased physical activity• It has been recommended that children (ages 6-19) should participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity, all days of the week if possible. The school setting should offer multiple opportunities for all students, not just those who are lithely inclined, to enjoy physical activity through physical education and other opportunities outside of physical education classes such as walking to and from school, enjoying recess, physical activity clubs, and intramural sports programs, and having classroom lessons that incorporate physical activities.
Resources : Kids walk to School
Presidents’ Challenge
VERB™ It’s what you do. Materials

Execute physical education curriculum :

• It is suggested that schools should implement physical education curriculum using state or national physical education standards. Physical education gives opportunities to students to be active during the school day and helps them learn the knowledge, outlook, skills, behaviors, and confidence needed to be physically active for life.

physical education in school

• School districts need to perform a clear, complete, and steady analysis of written physical education curricula, based upon national physical education standards. The Physical Education Curricula Assessment Tool is available for self-assessment and is customizable to include local standards. The results from the analysis can help school districts enhance existing curricula, develop their own curricula, or select a published curriculum, for the delivery of quality physical education in schools.

Resources : Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT)

The CDC partnered with experts from other federal agencies, state agencies, universities, voluntary organizations, and professional associations to develop Guidelines for School and Community Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity Among Young People. The 10 recommendations in the guidelines are:

Policy : Establish policies that promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity.
• Schools should require daily physical education and comprehensive health education (including lessons on physical activity) in grades K-12.
• Schools and community organizations should provide adequate funding, equipment, and supervision for programs that meet the needs and interests of all students.

Environment : Provide physical and social environments that encourage and enable young people to engage in safe and enjoyable physical activity.
• Provide access to safe spaces and facilities and implement measures to prevent activity-related injuries and illnesses.
• Provide school time, such as recess, for unstructured physical activity, such as jumping rope.
• Discourage the use or withholding of physical activity as punishment.
• Provide health promotion programs for school faculty and staff.

Physical Education Curricula and Instruction : Implement sequential physical education curricula and instruction in grades K-12 that
• Emphasize enjoyable participation in lifetime physical activities such as walking and dancing, not just competitive sports.
• Help students develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle.
• Follow the National Standards for Physical Education.
• Keep students active for most of class time.

Health Education Curricula and Instruction : Implement health education curricula and instruction that
• Feature active learning strategies and follow the National Health Education Standards.
• Help students develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Extracurricular Activities : Provide extracurricular physical activity programs that offer diverse, developmentally appropriate activities both noncompetitive and competitive for all students.

physical activity in school

Family Involvement : Encourage parents and guardians to support their children's participation in physical activity, to be physically active role models, and to include physical activity in family events.

Training : Provide training to enable teachers, coaches, recreation and health care staff, and other school and community personnel to promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity among young people.

Health Services : Assess the physical activity patterns of young people, refer them to appropriate physical activity programs, and advocate for physical activity instruction and programs for young people.

Community Programs : Provide a range of developmentally appropriate community sports and recreation programs that are attractive to all young people.

Evaluation : Regularly evaluate physical activity instruction, programs, and facilities.

Apply a staff wellness programs :

• Staff wellness programs can contribute to improve physical and mental health outcomes and increase confidence and efficiency. These programs also support positive role modeling for students.

• Plan a staff wellness challenge that might include eating five fruits and vegetables per day, drinking water instead of soda, eating breakfast, walking 10,000 or more steps per day, and exercising 30 minutes per day.

Resources : School Employee Wellness

childhood obesity prevention in schoolEngage in a multi-component, school-wide program to address physical activity and nutrition through a Coordinated School Health Program :

• Assess the school’s health policies and programs and develop a plan for improvements. Self-assessment and planning provide structure to a coordinated school health program in the way that a map provides guidance to a driver. The self-assessment describes where the program is now, and the plan provides the destination and directions to get there.

Resources : Coordinated school Health Program
School Health Index

Ask students to get involved in strengthening nutrition and physical activities :

• Students can provide incentive and leadership to improve their school nutrition and physical activity environments. In some schools, students have marketed nutrient-rich choices through a student store or created walking clubs to increase physical activity.

Overall, students can create a important change in attitudes toward healthier food choices and increased physical activity. Although some students may be skeptical at first, models have shown they became interested, respectful, responsive and, most importantly, customers.

Resources : Healthy Schools: Local Wellness Policy (with the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Education)


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