We thank the NC Healthy Schools for collection of this data and, in particular Kea Alexander. We also thank Dr. Rebecca Reeve for her critical evaluation of the paper and Fang Wen for her help with the statistical analysis. Preparation of this manuscript was supported by a grand form the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Active Living Research program, as a supplement to an RWJF Healthy Eating Research Center, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cooperative agreement #U48-DP000059. The University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention is a member of the Prevention Research Centers Program of CDC. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the CDC.Indicates CHES and Nursing continuing education hours are available. Also available at: http://www.ashaweb.org/continuing_education.html
Implementation of a School-Based State Policy to Increase Physical Activity†
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2009
© 2009, American School Health Association
Journal of School Health
Volume 79, Issue 5, pages 231–238, May 2009
How to Cite
Evenson, K. R., Ballard, K., Lee, G. and Ammerman, A. (2009), Implementation of a School-Based State Policy to Increase Physical Activity. Journal of School Health, 79: 231–238. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2009.00403.x
- Issue published online: 27 MAR 2009
- Article first published online: 27 MAR 2009
- Accepted on October 14, 2008
- physical activity;
Background: In 2005, the North Carolina State Board of Education updated the Healthy Active Children Policy to include a requirement that all kindergarten through eighth-grade children receive at least 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each school day through physical education, recess, and other creative approaches. This study describes how districts are meeting the physical activity-related portion of this policy and explores the policy implementation successes and challenges.
Methods: An online survey was conducted in summer 2007 in all school districts in the state (response rate 106/111; 95.5%). Respondents were asked to describe the implementation successes and challenges associated with including 30 minutes of physical activity in the school day. Answers were double coded, checked, and grouped into themes.
Results: The physical activity requirement was most often met through recess, physical education, classroom Energizers, and intramural sports. School districts reported numerous positive effects of the policy in elementary and middle schools. Benefits included increased student focus on studies, physical activity participation, awareness of healthy habits, alertness and enjoyment, and higher staff involvement. Implementation challenges to the policy included lack of time in the school day, teacher participation, and concerns about academics.
Conclusions: School districts reported that implementation of the policy produced many positive results for students and staff. Addressing several implementation challenges common across school districts would strengthen the ongoing success of the policy.