RESOURCES: Great physical activity links and research for people who work with kids

Here are first-rate resources for teachers, parents and anybody who works with children, plus research on health and fitness.


* Jammin’ Minute: will e-mail you free “instant recess” ideas every week. ;

* Let’s Move! The national site, packed with activity ideas.

* Adventures to Fitness: Physical activity programs students can watch on smartboards while they exercise in place. Free to any teacher.;login_htmlusername=&login_htmlmessage=&login_htmlmessage2=&login_htmlmessage3=

* Fuel Up to Play 60: a national program that helps schools and students make changes in daily routines that fight obesity.

* Childhood obesity linked to adult cardiovascular and variety of chronic illness:

Easy reads and overviews:

* Moving and shaking in the classroom: ABC News.

* NYT: “IF you want kids to excel, try gym class.” Profiles of recent research.

* “Bikes, Balls in Class: How phys ed transformed one school”

* “Teachers trade space, traditional fixtures for fitness”

* “Instructors make pitch for vigorous exercise to improve test scores”

Physical activity grants for schools:



Design of a good school physical activity program

* American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. The 5 components of a good program: physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity after school, staff involvement, family and community.

* How to establish a comprehensive school physical activity program for your school:

* State laws related to physical activity:;catExpand=acdnbtm_catC

* The Active School Acceleration Project: Tufts University effort to accelerate physical activity in schools: case studies of successful school programs.

Seniors/Older adults

* How much physical activity do older adults need? Links to tips on getting active.  Success stories about older adults meeting the PA guidelines and consequent health improvements:

* Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness:

* Strength training for older adults:

* Go4Life from the National Institute of Aging at NIH: An exercise and physical activity campaign from the NIA-designed to help fit exercise and physical activity into daily life:

* Do your pets help keep you healthy?

West Virginia

* Take charge! Be healthy! (CARDIAC)


* WV Mt Bike Assn:;view=article&id=47&Itemid=37

* DHHR site:

* Walkable communities workshop (Ron Eck)

* Eastern panhandle (Mark Cuccazzella):, ; store: run:, blog:

* Summersville rebranding:

Physical activity grants:



* Classroom ideas from Let’s Move West Virginia!:

* Alliance for a Healthier Generation: school success stories from around the country, free help for individual schools.

*, from the Nemours Foundation. Fine all-round site.

* Got little space? You can move anyhow! Skillastics:

* Read and Ride program. How to incorporate exercise bikes in the classroom.

* Ideas for the whole family from the Harvard School of Public Health:

* Recommendations of ways to increase physical activity in communities from The American Journal of Preventative Medicine:

* A detailed examination of recommended exercise, “Health-related fitness in children and adolescents”

* Modern Woodsmen. Free materials and physical activity materials for teachers.

Research that shows physical activity improves academic performance, reduces discipline problems:

* Active bodies, active minds: Excellent overview of the research.

* West Virginia students who were overweight, but aerobically fit did better on standardized tests than students who were healthy weight, but not fit. Aerobic fitness is a better predictor of academic performance than weight is. ;

* Physical education, physical activity and academic performance: Eleven of 14 studies found that regular participation in physical activity is associated with improved academic performance.

* “Effects of health-related physical education on academic achievement:” physical education did not interfere with achievement and appears to have had positive effects ;

* “Curricular physical activity and academic performance,” When between 14 – 26% of time is devoted to physical activity, children’s learning proceeds more rapidly, equaling and sometimes exceeding that of kids who did not have that activity.

*  “Time in school-based physical activity does not compromise children’s academic performance,” an evaluation of Action Schools! BC, a physical activity program in the British Columbia schools

* Spark, by John Ratey: book, filled with cites to the connection between physical activity and academic achievement

* “Evidence-based physical activity for school-aged youth,” After reviewing 850 articles, the panel recommended an hour of daily physical activity for youth.

* Playworks. A review of the positive results of structured play.

* Distractable children consistently improve in their ability to concentrate after exercise

* The amount of physical activity by children steadily declines as they get older:

* How parents can encourage physical activity.

* Girls are participating in sports in record numbers, but exercise outside organized teams drops as adolescence approaches.

* Teens spend more time at computers, become less active as they grow older

* Fitness often not a priority for college students –

Research that shows that physical activity can lower the risk of chronic disease:

* Physical activity reduces cancer risk: National Cancer Institute.

* Regular exercise lowers large number of health risks, including dementia and some cancers.

* “Physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns are associated with selected adolescent health risk behaviors.”  Teenagers who are not physically active are more likely to be involved in harmful habits and behaviors and have lower self-esteem.


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