Physical Activity/Schools


Increased Access to Safe and Attractive places for Physical Activity​

Action steps to increase access to safe and attractive places for physical activity in local schools include:

  1. Work with school wellness councils to build new and improve existing recreational facilities and playing fields.

    In order to be active, children need recreational facilities that are available during school hours and outside of school hours. Building and maintaining gymnasiums, recreation centers, sports fields, and playgrounds and opening these facilities to families for after school use facilitate opportunities for daily physical activity among children.


    Recommended by:

  2. Work with school wellness councils to ensure that all local schools have adequate bike racks for students who bike to school.

    Fewer than half of children who live close to school walk or bike to school. Installing bike racks and holding "Bike to School Days" are simple ways to encourage children to bike to school.


    Recommended by:

    For more information: National Center for Safe Routes to School


Increase Physical Activity​

Action steps to increase physical activity in local schools include:

  1. Work with school wellness councils/school officials to require 30 minutes of quality physical education a day.
    Quality daily, compulsory physical education increase students' physical activity and improves physical fitness. Establishing physical activity as part of a student's daily routine can encourage a lifetime of physical activity.

  2. Recommended by:

    For more information: The American Heart Association (AHA)

  3. Work with school wellness councils/school officials to increase the number of opportunities for after school programs that promote physical activity.
    Schools that provide students with a wide variety of full-funded after school sports and recreational programs, including interscholastic and intramural sports, encourage increased physical activity. Offering a wide variety of sport and recreational activities can help ensure that children are able to find activities that interest them.

  4. Recommended by:

    For more information: Afterschool.gov

  5. ​Work with school wellness councils to develop a school curriculum that teaches children and youth about the benefits of regular physical activity.
    Creating healthier environments for children and adolescents is a critical step in supporting healthy choices; however, it is also important for children to learn about how to lead healthy active lives. School wellness councils can work with school administrators to develop health curricula that encourage active living.

Recommended by:

    For more information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool


    D. Work with school wellness councils/ school officials to increase the amount of recess in an average school day.

    School age children, particularly those in grades K-6, should receive at least 30 minutes of time for free play outdoors, weather permitting. School officials should ensure that recess time in built in as part of school schedule and is not sacrificed for special activities or taken away as a disciplinary measure.

    Recommended by:


    For more information: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool

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