Team Up to Improve Physical Activity in Schools- CDC resources

This message is being forwarded by the Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH), NCCDPHP, CDC, on behalf of the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO). Visit the DASH Web site at and the DNPAO Web site at

Subject: CDC Overweight and Obesity (Nutrition and Physical Activity) Update: Team Up to Improve Physical Activity in Schools

Did you know that being physically active is good for students’ health and academic performance? Studies have shown that school-based physical activity can help improve academic performance, such as grades, test scores and better concentration and attention in the classroom.

Youth ages 6 -17 need at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Most of the 60 minutes should be moderate or vigorous intensity, such as playing basketball, jumping rope, dancing, playing tag, walking, and running.

Parents, teachers, school principals and other school staff can team up to improve physical activity in schools in a variety of ways:

* Join a school health council, if one exists. If none exist, begin by working with the superintendent or principal to create a health council at the school or district level.

* Assess your school’s physical activity policies and practices through the School Health Index, an assessment and planning tool. Schools also can use this tool to improve physical activity policies and practices.

* Increase the amount of time students spend in physical education or increase the quality of the physical education class. See Strategies to Improve Quality Physical Education.

* Provide recess every day for at least 20 minutes for elementary school students.

* Incorporate physical activity breaks into the classroom.

* Participate in Walk to School Day and support ongoing walk and bike to school programs.

* Include more moderate to vigorous physical activity in afterschool programs.

More Information

Many tools and resources exist to help improve physical activity in schools:

* School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

* CDC Physical Activity

* Youth Physical Activity

* The Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance

* CDC Podcast on Adolescents and Physical Activity

* CDC Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit

* CDC Childhood Obesity

* The Physical Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (PECAT)

* Let’s Move!

* The National Physical Activity Plan

* CDC Overweight and Obesity Social Media Tools