Setting Physical Activity Goals
This portion of our site will be updated soon. In the meantime, the materials
provided here may still be used
by local educational agencies in
building on their existing local
The primary goals for schools' physical activity components are: to provide opportunities for every student to develop the knowledge and skills for specific physical activities, to maintain students' physical fitness, to ensure students' regular participation in physical activity, and to teach students the short- and long-term benefits of a physically active and healthful lifestyle.
Sample Policy Language
The following are examples of policy language for school districts to consider while drafting policy for Physical Activity. They are adapted from the National Association of School Boards of Education's Fit, Healthy and Ready to Learn and the CDC's Guidelines for Schools to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity [PDF]. Each can be used as an item in a wellness policy or to help you as you think about policy language for developing your own policy. Feel free to expand them and make them more specific, quantifiable, and/or stringent to meet your district's needs.
- Students are given opportunities for physical activity during the school day through physical education (PE) classes, daily recess periods for elementary school students, and the integration of physical activity into the academic curriculum.
- Students are given opportunities for physical activity through a range of before- and/or after-school programs including, but not limited to, intramurals, interscholastic athletics, and physical activity clubs.
- Schools work with the community to create ways for students to walk, bike, rollerblade or skateboard safely to and from school.
- Schools encourage parents and guardians to support their children's participation in physical activity, to be physically active role models, and to include physical activity in family events.
- Schools provide training to enable teachers, and other school staff to promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity among students.
Examples of Existing State and School District Policies
Regarding Physical Activity
More examples of policies will be posted as we identify them.
Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ nutrition education and promotional materials are designed to convey science-based, behavior-focused and motivational messages about healthy eating and physical activity. The campaign uses Power Panther™ as the primary communication vehicle for delivering the messages to children and their caregivers.
Resources and Implementation Tools
The following links are resources, programs, and curricula related to physical activity.
The CDC has published many studies that stress the importance of physical activity. In Promoting Better Health: A Report to the President you will find background information about the importance of physical activity that can be used in a wellness policy. You will also find examples of programs that can be used to implement those strategies.
Guidelines for School and Community Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity Among Young People identifies goals and strategies that will help young people adopt and maintain a physically active lifestyle.
Projects to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth provides descriptions of projects implemented by state and local education agencies as well as national organizations to increase physical activity among youth.
Kids Walk-to-School is a community-based program which aims to increase opportunities for daily physical activity by encouraging children to walk to and from school in groups accompanied by adults. It also encourages collaboration among partners to create an environment that is supportive of walking and bicycling to school safely.
- Other governmental sources
- Resources from non-governmental organizations
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE)
- NASPE administers the Stars recognition program for schools with exemplary physical activity programs. The website provides background on the program, and a link to the specific physical activity criterion for qualification.
- Moving into the Future: National Standards for Physical Education, outlines NASPE's content standards for physical education programs. It clearly identifies what a student should know and be able to do as a result of a quality physical education program, and establishes teacher-friendly guidelines for assessment of the content standards.
Guidelines for After School Physical Activity and Intramural Sport Programs [PDF 50K] are NASPE's recommendations for planning and implementing after-school physical activity and intramural programming for children in grades K–12.
Recess in Elementary Schools [PDF] is NASPE's position paper about the importance of recess.
Action for Healthy Kids
- Resources to Improve Schools, a database maintained by AFHK, gives information on specific physical activity programs and their implementation.
California Project LEAN
- Policy In Action: a guide to implementing your local school wellness policy. Developed by the California Project LEAN and the University of California, Center for Weight and Health. This guide focuses on implementing the physical activity and food and
beverage guideline components of your local wellness policy. It is intended for individuals at the ground level who are responsible for or involved with implementing local school wellness policies.