FOR SCHOOLS

During the academic year, children spend nearly half their waking hours at school. Comprehensive school-based physical activity and nutrition programs can help students live healthier lives. For many children, schools provide their only access to healthy foods and a safe place for physical activity.

Physical Wellness in Schools

Children and adolescents should spend 60 minutes a day being physically active.  Comprehensive
school-based physical activity programs can help students meet most of their physical activity needs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), physical activity can affect academic achievement.  For example:

  • Elementary school girls who participated in more physical education had better math and reading test scores than girls who had less time in physical education.
  • Physical activity can help students improve concentration, memory, and classroom behavior.

Schools can improve physical activity by providing:

  • Quality Physical Education
  • Recess
  • Physical Activity Breaks
  • Intramural Sports
  • Interscholastic Sports
  • Walk and Bike-to-School Programs

Learn More:

CDC:Healthy Schools
CDC:Healthy Schools

7th and 8th Grade Utah Students Need Art, PE, and Health

Get Healthy Utah is concerned over the Utah School Board of Education 2017 decision to eliminate the requirement for health, PE, and art in 7th and 8th grades.  The research is clear.  Health, physical education, and physical activity benefit students.  In fact, research has shown positive relationships between physical activity and academic achievement, test scores, […]

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Walking School Buses Can Improve Physical Activity and Safety

Walking and biking to school can help improve physical activity of children and parents.  Parents are often concerned with the safety of children getting to and from school. Providing adult supervision can help ease those worries for families who are within walking or biking distance to school. A Walking School Bus is a great way to […]

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Nutrition in Schools

For most American children and adolescents school is not only a place of learning, but also a place of eating. Many students participate in the school-lunch and school-breakfast programs. Schools are in a unique position to support nutritious eating and influence the eating habits of children. By offering healthier food and beverage options schools are empowering students to make healthy choices – a skill that will benefit students long after they graduate.

Schools can support nutrition in the following ways:

  • Develop, implement and evaluate healthy eating policies and practices
  • Establish a school environment that supports healthy eating
  • Provide a quality school meal plan
  • Ensure students only have appealing, healthy food and beverage choices offered outside of meals
  • Employ qualified individuals for health education and nutrition services
  • Implement an education program providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy eating decisions
  • Partner with families and community members to develop healthy eating policies, practices and programs

Source:
CDC:Healthy Schools

Mental Wellness in Schools

Mentally healthy children have a positive quality of life and can function well at home, in school, and in their communities. Physical and mental wellness are both important to a child's success in school. When children are physically healthy they are better able to perform academically. Additionally, children who are overweight or obese risk becoming targets of social discrimination and stigmatization which can result in stress, lowered self-esteem, and decreased academic and social success. School health programs play a vital role in promoting healthy behaviors in children and youth. They can have positive effects on educational outcomes and help maintain physical and mental wellness.

Source:
CDC

A significantly higher percentage of boys meet physical activity guidelines than girls (23% vs. 12%).

Only 1 in 5 Utah Students get the recommended amount of physical activity each day.

As children age their rate of physical activity decreases (22% in 8th grade vs. 14% in 12th grade).

Nearly a quarter of high school students report eating at fast food restaurants at least 3 times per week.

Participation in P.E. has been associated with better grades, standardized test scores, and classroom behavior among students.

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