Practitioners

Urban planners, public health leaders and business owners can all help people be active in their neighborhoods. Teachers, principals and school district directors can help children be active before, during and after school. Relying on evidence-based strategies in your work will help you be as effective as possible. Active Living Research has resources to provide practitioners with guidance on promising approaches for preventing obesity and promoting physical activity.

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How Can Schools Help Youth Increase Physical Activity? An Economic Analysis Comparing School-Based Programs

Date: 
12/01/2014
Description: 

Babey, S. H., Wu, S., & Cohen, D. A. (2014). How Can Schools Help Youth Increase Physical Activity? An Economic Analysis Comparing School-Based Programs. Preventive Medicine, 69(Suppl), S55-S60.

Abstract: 

OBJECTIVE: For optimal health, physical activity should be an integral and routine part of daily life. Youth spend a significant amount of time at school yet rarely achieve the recommended 60 min of moderate and vigorous physical activity in physical education (PE) classes or recess. This study assessed the following types of school-based opportunities to improve physical activity for youth: after-school programs, before-school programs, PE classes, extended-day PE, and short physical activity breaks during the school day. METHOD: An economic analysis conducted in 2013 compared school-based approaches to increasing physical activity. Analysis factors included costs, reach, effects on physical activity gains, cost-effectiveness, and other potentially augmenting benefits. RESULTS: Two programs were significantly superior in terms of reach and cost per student: (1) extending the school day with mandatory PE participation and (2) offering short (10-minute) physical activity breaks during regular classroom hours. After-school program costs per student are high and the programs have a smaller reach, but they offer benefits (such as childcare) that may justify their higher costs. Before-school programs did not appear feasible. CONCLUSION: Incorporating short physical activity breaks into the existing school day would be a cost-effective way to increase school-based activity. This type of program is inexpensive and has broad reach. Inserting activity breaks throughout the day is appropriate, especially when youth are otherwise largely sedentary.

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Active Kids Do Better: A Closer Look at Let’s Move! Active Schools

Date: 
03/09/2014
Description: 

Workshop at the 2014 Active Living Research Annual Conference.

Abstract: 

Children today are the most sedentary generation in American’s history; only 1 in 3 children are active on a daily basis. Schools are uniquely positioned to address the childhood obesity and physical inactivity epidemic. Let’s Move! Active Schools (LMAS) is a comprehensive program that empowers parents and schools to create active environments for students. 

This workshop: 1) Developed an understanding that active kids do better! There is substantial evidence that physical activity can help improve academic achievement, including grades and standardized test scores; physical activity can have an impact on cognitive skills and attitudes and academic behavior (including enhanced concentration, attention, and improved classroom behavior). 2) Developed an appreciation for creating positive experiences for kids in sport and physical activity and integrating physical activity into daily lives. Parents, school boards, school administrators, and teachers can feel confident that maintaining or increasing time dedicated for physical activity during the school day will not have a negative impact on academic performance. 3) Developed a case for how important policy is for codifying, sustaining and providing accountability for efforts to infuse physical activity into the school setting. Strong policy and accountability measures are imperative to implement and sustain a culture change in the school environment.

Authors: 
Tiereny V. Lloyd, MPH & Carly Braxton
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The Trail Modeling and Assessment Platform: Building New Tools for Trail Development

Date: 
03/09/2014
Description: 

Workshop at the 2014 Active Living Research Annual Conference.

Abstract: 

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation’s foremost advocate for development of multiuse trails, has launched a new project with university-based researchers and local trail managers in more than nine cities in different climatic regions in the United States to develop web- and mobile-based tools for planning and assessing trails: the Trail Modeling and Assessment Platform (T-MAP). Inspired by the ALR conference theme Niche to Norm, this workshop brought together interests from the academic and advocacy communities in a dialogue about bringing evidence-based planning and management methods mainstream within the trails movement. This workshop outlined the objectives of the T-MAP project, engaged participants in discussions about practical approaches to measuring trail connectivity, estimating trail traffic, and assessing trail impacts, and explained how researchers and practitioners can participate in the T-MAP project. The workshop included an interactive demonstration of three GIS-based tools for calculating bicycle level of service (BLOS) on trails and streets, a place-based metric of bikeability, and a tool for converting intersection counts into bicycle volumes for all segments within a system.

Authors: 
Tracy Hadden Loh, PhD, Keith Laughlin, Greg Lindsey, PhD, & Michael Lowry, PhD
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Best Practices for Increasing Daily Cycling

This webinar  shares examples from the US and around the world of the most effective strategies for increasing levels of bicycling, including on-street bike lanes, off-street bike paths, and other bicycling infrastructure; promotional and educational programs, such as bike-to-work days and bicycle training classes; and policies, including parking restrictions and traffic-calmed neighborhoods.

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