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Schools are an ideal setting for teaching youth how to adopt and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle through quality physical education, active and engaging recess, physical activity breaks, walk- and bike-to-school programs, and out-of-school sports and activity programs.

Although the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children and adolescents ages 6-17 engage in 60 minutes or more physical activity every day, fewer than half meet that recommendation. With students spending most of their days at school, it’s vital that schools support physical activity wherever possible.

Benefits of
Physical Activity

The benefits of getting the 60 minutes or more of physical activity are numerous and include:

  • Helping reduce the risk of developing obesity and related chronic diseases
  • Improving strength and endurance
  • Helping to build healthy bones and muscles
  • Improving concentration and attentiveness
  • Supporting students’ academic performance

Physical Activity

Healthy Schools Program

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program helps schools create healthier environments that promote physical activity and healthy eating. Enrollment is free and gives members access to resources, trainings, and technical assistance.

Join the Healthy Schools Program


Playworks is dedicated to using the power of play to help young people build critical social and emotional skills, find confidence in themselves, and learn positive cultural values, all while being active and having fun.

Learn more about Playworks

Comprehensive School Physical Activity

Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) offers resources to help schools and school districts provide an abundance of opportunities for physical activity before, during, and after school.

Learn about the CSPAP

Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School National Partnership improves quality of life for kids and communities by promoting healthy living, safe infrastructure, and physical activity, starting with bicycling and walking to school and beyond.

See Safe Routes to School National Partnership

Take a Break Toolbox

The Colorado Education Initiative has designed this handy resource for secondary-level teachers with tools and templates to support physical activity in the classroom.

Download the Take a Break Teacher Toolbox

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