In this Section
218471 Policies, programs, and the physical environment: School-based opportunities for physical activity in West Virginia Schools
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Background: School-based opportunities for physical activity (PA) are important for preventing obesity among youth, and may positively impact families and the community. The purpose of this study is to capture current policies, programming, and environmental resources for physical activity in WV schools. Methods: WV school principals (N=601) and PE teachers (N=413) were surveyed during the 2008-2009 school year. Results: PE teachers reported the average class length was 45 minutes (SD 16.9) and 51% of PE time was spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). PE teachers indicated schools offered recess (70%), physical activity breaks (17%), and movement based instruction (11%). 80% of principals reported recommending MVPA at recess and 6% required this. Outside of PE, the most frequently offered PA program for students was team sports (50%), while walking/running activities were most frequently offered for faculty (32%) and the community (22%). Only 23% of principals reported offering PA/PE programs for families. Most principals reported having a gymnasium (79%) and 90% of elementary principals had a playground/playground equipment; other facilities included an all purpose field (50%) and a track/walking trail (25%). 64% of principals reported both indoor and outdoor facilities were available to community members outside of the school day. Conclusions: Schools have the potential to provide students and community residents with programs and facilities to engage in regular PA. Improvements are needed to increase MVPA during recess and PE class, PA programs for families, movement-based instruction, and PA opportunities for community members.
Learning Areas:Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Keywords: School-Based Programs, Physical Activity
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a fourth year doctoral student in Public Health Sciences and I have been a member of the team conducting the evaluation of West Virginia's Healthy Lifestyles Act (legislation addressing childhood obesity through school policy) funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.
Back to: 4334.0: Promoting Physical Activity in the Community