JOPERD Table of Contents
Focusing School Wellness Beyond Physical Education
Whole school physical activity programs use
various means to encourage students, staff, family,
and even community members to engage in healthy
behaviors. Although resources are often available
through websites and professional memberships, barriers continue
to be discussed as inhibitors to teachers resulting in programs being
abandoned or avoided all together. In this regard, some find it helpful
to hear from others and learn how they addressed challenges and
found success integrating such programs. The purpose of this article
is threefold: first, to provide an overview of conditions leading to
the need for whole school programs; second, to highlight two specific
programs and suggest ways teachers might use combined resources
to provide rewards and incentives for their school community; and,
third, to share tips learned from three discussions with teachers and
administrators at schools that have initiated physical activity
and wellness programs.
Setting the stage for the need for school-based physical activity
programming is the state of children’s health in the United States.
Although not alone in contributing to increased risk of several
chronic diseases, overweight or obesity is a commonly used qualifier
for such health concerns. The Center for Disease Control and
Prevention’s (CDC) website offers a multitude of evidence supporting
these concerns (CDC, 2020). Of particular interest is the direct connection between childhood overweight/obese classification and adult
classification as the same (Simmonds, Llewellyn, Owen, &
Woolacot, 2015). Therefore, solutions at the level of youth becomes
a logical starting place to effect change and potentially avoid
increased risk classifications altogether.
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