Online Program

How Tomorrow Moves: Opportunities to Increase Physical Activity and Create PSE Change in Schools

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hannah Laughlin, MPH, Field Operations Department, Action for Healthy Kids, Chicago, IL
Introduction: Schools offer many opportunities to get kids moving. Through the School Grants for Healthy Kids: How Tomorrow Moves initiative, Action for Healthy Kids has worked with almost 500 schools over the past two school years to increase physical activity to at least 30 minutes per day (half of the recommended 60 minutes daily) and improve their policy, environmental and system to support active students, parents and communities.

Methods: Schools worked to add movement to their student’s day by implementing innovative physical activity strategies including: recess/play-space/gymnasium refurbishing, equipment for recess and physical education, brain breaks, before- and after-school programming, walking and biking to school programming and fitness testing. In addition, schools engaged family and community volunteers through the nationally recognized Every Kid Healthy Week and the Get in the Action Volunteer Center. 

Results: Schools reported six common themes: increased awareness, increased physical activity, student participation, student engagement, parent support, and funding. Over 90% of schools were able to increase their physical activity levels to meet the recommended 30 minutes during the school day. Schools reported policy, environmental and systems changes as well that positively impact student physical activity levels.

Discussion: Using an innovative model, Action for Healthy Kids is helping schools increase student physical activity significant manner while also addressing school policy, systems and environmental changes to improve school wellness environments. Providing schools with seed money to get started results in increase physical activity for students, staff, parents and increases community engagement.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs

Learning Objectives:
Describe successes and lessons learned related to increasing physical activity in schools Identify ways to engage family and community in efforts to increase physical activity in schools. Identify ways to improve policy, systems and environmental changes to improve school wellness environments.

Keyword(s): School-Based Health, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Hannah G. Laughlin, MPH, Senior Field Manager. Hannah is responsible for growing the capacity of Action for Healthy Kids state teams, physical activity programming and an urban school wellness coalition. Hannah received her Master in Public Health from Indiana University. Her areas of interest include school wellness, childhood obesity, pediatric health and community-based programming.
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.