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Ten Ideas to Build Physical Activity in Your School

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

The weather is warming up everywhere, and it’s easier than ever to get outside and get some physical activity before, during and after school.  For national physical activity month, May, Kaiser Permanente Thriving Schools’ growing collection of activity ideas may spur some new activity at your school. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Here are just a few ideas to get the feet moving:

  1. Provide equipment during lunch periods to allow students to be physically active after eating
  2. Create and implement a walking-to-school policy like this one: Model Walking Policy
  3. Reenergize students by leading short physical activity breaks in the classroom. Use these resources to help: Brain BreaksJAM’min MinutesGoNoodle
  4. Dedicate one day a week to invite students, staff, and families to walk around the school before or after school to encourage active living – see what Paul Hein, a PE teacher in Sacramento, did at his school to start a weekly “Walking Wednesdays
  5. Hold short physical activity breaks during long staff meetings
  6. Encourage staff to participate in physical activity games with students on the playground during recess
  7. Use this recess policy audit tool to evaluate your school’s current policy: Eco-Schools USA Healthy Living Audit: Recess Policy. Then, work with the school, district or state to build on or adopt a good recess policy: Model Recess Policy
  8. Develop a walking school bus program at your school with the help of this toolkit: Walking School Bus
  9. Create and implement a bicycling to school policy, use this as a model: Model Bicycling Policy
  10. Open the gym or multipurpose facility and/or school yards and playgrounds during evenings and weekends for recreational activities for students, staff, and the community. Here is a sample joint use agreement: Joint Use Agreements & Joint Use Policy Brief


The Role of Schools in Promoting Physical Activity

This infographic highlights a few ways that schools can promote daily physical activity for kids. Focusing efforts on comprehensive PE programs, recess and safe and active ways to get to school teach kids the importance of being physically active each day, which can provide physical and academic benefits. Original source:

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