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Active and healthy schools get kids moving
Date:5/19/2010

ical activity and nutrition," Ball said. "The program encourages small changes that schools can build on to gradually create an environment that reflects health and fitness."

Prior to implementing the program, teachers were instructed on how to manage activity breaks without disrupting academic schedules. Ball presented research explaining how the program can improve learning, decrease discipline problems and increase physical activity in students at a young age, which makes them more likely to be healthy as adults.

"Now, the kids are more excited about PE and recess," said Gayle Frerking, physical education teacher at Leslie Bell Elementary School. "Students are starting to participate more in youth basketball, dance and gymnastics programs. What they're learning in school is being spread outside the school and into the community."

Initial research for the Active and Healthy Schools Program was conducted at Arizona State University. In the initial study of the program at a school in Arizona, researchers found significant increases in students' steps and a reduction in absences and school nurse visits. The researchers also received positive feedback from parents, students and school personnel.

The current study is designed to further evaluate the program and encourage surrounding school districts to adopt similar efforts. It is funded in part by a grant from the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.


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Contact: Emily Martin
MartinEm@missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert  

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