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Physical Activity

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend children and adolescents spend at least 60 minutes per day engaged in physical activity in order to achieve and maintain optimal health and well-being.

Research shows that increasing physical activity in school can improve academic performance, attendance, and on-task behavior.

Why Incorporate Physical Activity Into the School Day?

Physically active students are better learners chart

What Should a Physical Activity Program Include?

The CDC recommends the development of a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) to achieve an active school culture that helps students to be physically active for a lifetime. The five components of a CSPAP are:

  • Physical education
  • Physical activity during the school day, eg. classroom breaks to destress and reset focus, school-wide morning fitness
  • Physical activity before and after school, eg. encouraging safe walking or biking routes to and from school, intramural sports teams, making playgrounds or facilities available before and after school
  • Staff involvement: staff support for physical activity is crucial to developing an active school culture, and individual staff can be positive role models through their own own commitment to physical activity
  • Family and community involvement, eg. incorporate physical activity into family and community events, provide information about local facilities or events where families can be physically active together

Policy Requirements

Offer daily physical activity for all students in addition to recess and PE. This can include:

  • Physical activity inside and outside the classroom
  • Before and after school activities
  • Parent and community engagement
  • School staff involvement

Student Health and Wellness

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