We need to increase physical activity among children to prevent obesity and create life-long healthy habits. Children's participation in regular physical activity is associated with improved cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health, better mental health and emotional wellbeing, as well as prevention of such chronic diseases as obesity, hypertension and type-2 diabetes. There also is substantial evidence showing that children who are physically fit and active tend to perform better in the classroom. Despite the overwhelming evidence that physical activity is beneficial, more than half of U.S. children and adolescents are not getting enough physical activity.
After-school programs have the potential to help children accumulate up to 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day, which would satisfy half of the national recommendation for daily physical activity. Such a goal is a reasonable expectation based on the amount of time after-school programs typically allocate for physical activity. However, much work remains to be done to create more consistent policies and implement programs that are evidence-based. Furthermore, there needs to be efforts to monitor progress toward meeting policies and holding programs accountable.
This webinar will provide recommendations for how programs and policies can better support physical activity in after-school settings and provide examples from national and local efforts. Speakers will share success stories from the YMCA—the largest provider of after-school programs in the nation— and discuss lessons learned from initiatives that successfully increase children’s physical activity levels. Speakers will also briefly explore how programs and policies can help promote physical activity during summertime and other academic break periods.
Co-sponsored by Dialogue4Health, this Web Forum will showcase national leaders discussing the role that after-school programs and policies play in supporting physical activity. Please join us for this exciting Web Forum!
- Michael W. Beets, Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina
- Monica Vinluan, Project Director, YMCA of the USA
- Becky Ciminillo, Executive Director of Child Care, YMCA of Columbus, Ohio
- Moderator: Debbie Lou, Active Living Research