Advocates

Advocating for healthy communities requires evidence-based recommendations to inform decision-makers and the general public. As an advocate, research can help you build your case, highlight success stories and give credibility to your cause. It is a powerful tool. Active Living Research has a wide variety of evidence demonstrating how environments and policies can help everyone be active.

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Community Commons: A National Data, Mapping and Reporting Platform to Support Policy Implementation

Date: 
02/22/2015
Description: 

Workshop at the 2015 Active Living Research Annual Conference.

Abstract: 

A wealth of data is readily available from Federal and State Data Warehouses for communities across the United States; however, many organizations often lack the time, expertise, or technological infrastructure to make the best use of data resources for policy implementation. Community Commons, which is an evolving interactive mapping, networking, and learning utility for the broad-based healthy, sustainable, livable communities movement, strives to overcome these constraints by providing easy-to-use, democratized access to data, GIS-generated maps, and reporting tools. This workshop highlighted two Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Community Commons Hubs: The Childhood Obesity GIS (COGIS) and the Salud America! Growing Healthy Change Hub that includes a policy-mapping tool.

Authors: 
Chris Fulcher, PhD, CARES-University of Missouri; Roxanne Median-Fulcher, JD, Institute for People, Place and Possibility (IP3)
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Maximizing Out-of-School Time: Empowering Afterschool Providers to Create Healthier Communities

Due to the number of US children who attend various types of afterschool care, it is becoming increasingly clear that out-of-school time staff can play an essential role in helping young people eat healthy and stay active. In order to effectively implement programs and policies that advance wellness, however, afterschool staff need high quality tools and resources. This session will outline the value of afterschool care, and provide specific ideas to help make out-of-school time programs part of an effective strategy to help children eat better and move more.

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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Moving Kids Towards Success! School Policies that Support Active, Attentive Students

Children who are physically active and fit tend to perform better in the classroom, but many schools allow little to no time for students to be active, due to a lack of resources, personnel, or time in the day. Policies that support daily physical education and regular activity breaks during the school day can help increase physical activity, elevate physical fitness levels, and improve academic performance and classroom behavior among students.

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