223986 Coordinated School HealthTeams and Project Healthy Schools create physical activity opportunities during the school day

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Susan Aaronson, MS RD , MHealthy, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Lindsey Rose Mitchell, MPH , MFit, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Catherine Fitzgerald, RD , MFit, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Jean DuRussel-Weston, RN MPH CHES , MHealthy-Project Healthy Schools, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
Kim A. Eagle, MD , Albion Walter Hewlett Professor of Internal Medicine, Professor of Internal Medicine, Medical School, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, MI
School budget cuts, decreased enrollment and state education funding, in addition to changing state requirements for health and physical education classes have led to less physical activity time during middle school. This trend, coupled with increasing childhood obesity, has proposed a difficult challenge for creating opportunities for students to remain physically active during the school day.

Schools with active Coordinated School Health Teams (CSHT) have effectively increased opportunities for fun and creative programs to increase physical activity while limiting spending. In Ann Arbor, where Project Healthy Schools (PHS) a Community-University collaborative to decrease childhood obesity through educational and environmental school based interventions is well established, CSHT have planned and implemented school wide “Beach” Volleyball tournaments, annual fun 5K runs, brain break activity wheels, walk to school events, and holiday themed walking and running events with an educational twist, such as the Estimation Turkey Trot. These physical activity opportunities incorporate exercise into the school day and involve all grades. The recent Beach Volleyball tournament, played in an indoor gym during the winter months, provided students with almost 3,000 minutes of activity for a total of 117 games of volleyball. Over 90% of students participated in the annual 5K run, raising $2,000 for future school based wellness events.

Combating childhood obesity in schools with decreased funding for physical activity and health classes can be achieved with unique collaborations between programs such as PHS, CSHT and creative and willing staff who positively promote active lifestyles.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Design a physical activity program that can be easily implemented during school hours. Demonstrate how Coordinated School Health Teams can the lead to improve school health. List reasons why current students have less opportunity for physical activity during the school day

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I am a Wellness Coordinator with Project Healthy Schools and sit on the Coordinated School Health Team.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.