Healthy Youth - Physical Activity: before, during and after school

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Students who are physically active are stronger, have healthier bodies, experience reduced stress, and have increased self-esteem. Exercise can also help control weight and may enhance academic performance. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that youth ages 6–17 participate in at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Schools can promote physical activity through comprehensive school physical education and sport programs, recess, walk/bike to school programs, active classrooms, and physical activity clubs and sports.

  • According to the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, children aged 6 to 17 should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. About half of Washington County’s youth achieve that standard 5 or more days per week.
  • 56.5% of 9th grade boys and 49.6% of 11th grade boys get the recommended amount of physical activity per day
  • By 11th grade, only 30.6% of girls report getting 60 minutes of physical activity at least 5 days per week

2013 Minnesota Student Survey, Washington County

Our Goals

  • Provide support for planning and implementing one community based youth health strategy per year

  • Support policy, system or environmental changes within schools and communities around healthy youth development

  • Assist schools in developing or implementing school wellness policies

Schools should ensure that physical education is provided to all students in all grades and is taught by qualified teachers. Schools can also work with community organizations to provide out-of-school-time physical activity programs and share physical activity facilities.


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Action for Healthy Kids School Grant Program

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