Online Program

Restructuring school physical activity policies towards improving health equity

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 4:50 p.m. - 5:10 p.m.

Lori Miller, MPH, MS, PhD, Christ Is Preached Ministries, Sacramento, CA
Background and Issues: Increasing disparities in childhood obesity and physical activity prevalence among students in public schools reflect inequities in health and physical education (PE). A robust public health infrastructure, however, is lacking for school physical activity (PA) promotion and obesity prevention within PE programs. Likewise, no accountability system exists that includes school nurses' expertise to address students' adherence to PA policy requirements and measurable weight-related outcomes. Description: We used an innovative Structural Socio-ecological Model of Obesogenic School Ecosystems along with the five principles of the recent Institute of Medicine Report Integrating Primary Care and Public Health- improving population health; community engagement; infrastructural sustainability; aligned leadership; and shared use of data and analysis- as a guiding framework for this analysis and recommend action. Lessons Learned: The practice of using school PA policies to promote PA and prevent obesity development at the population-level is in its infancy. School nurses' expertise and sociocultural-tailored interventions in PE can be utilized. Leadership is not aligned between schools and local health departments, which have access to community resources and data on students' health behaviors that might support and improve existing school PA policies and PE programs. Recommendations: Public health nurses, mainly school nurses, should lead in forming strategic alliances with the local health departments and participate in schools' health policy making and implementation processes. School PA policy components for PE programs should be restructured to focus on students' adherence to policy requirements and promote use of sociocultural-tailored interventions in PE to create infrastructural sustainability.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related nursing
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify advocacy and leadership strategies for public health nursing toward improving health equity Describe policy opportunities for public health nursing and primary care integration to achieve health equity in public schools Discuss the power-relations in restructuring school physical activity policies to increase physical activity and prevent obesity

Keyword(s): Public Health Nursing, Outcomes, Public Health Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research in the area of Healthy Systems, with emphasis on preventing childhood obesity and related racial/ethnic health disparities through school physical activity policies.
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.