Back to all Project Ideas / Fun with Fitness in the Neighborhood
Physical activity can come in all forms and at any time of day. Promote the health of students and staff by providing fun opportunities for active commuting and learning.
Providing an environment that encourages students to get up and move around is essential to their health. In 1969, 50 percent of America’s school students walked to school. Today, fewer than 5 percent do. One of many consequences over the last several decades is that 15 percent of our children are now considered obese. Encourage physical activity on the way to school, in the classroom, at recess, and in structured physical education courses—get up and move!
Measure your impact
Track increased minutes of physical activity for students and staff, especially if you can sustain an increase over a long period of time. You can track your school's transportation data throughout the school year using Arc, the online, building performance platform, to get more staff and students walking and biking to school. There are also many ways to demonstrate impact in this area that are not easily measured, such as awareness and action steps taken.
- Work with teachers to incorporate movement into their classes, with a goal of 50 percent of learning time active. Play learning games where students move around the room. Incorporate stand-and-sit sequences into lessons. Be creative!
- Walking and biking to school is a great form of exercise. Does your school have goals for physical activity or obesity prevention? A walk/ride campaign may be something that city or school district health and wellness staff would love to support.
- Get local law enforcement involved in a walk/ride day or a long-term campaign to ensure that everyone gets to school safely. Consider preparing for National Walk to School Day, aligning with Safe Routes to Schools, or participating in another national campaign.
- Educate school staff on what what supports or impedes healthy, resource-efficient and environmentally sustainable learning spaces. The Green Classroom Professional Course breaks down the different aspects of building sustainability, including sustainable commuting practices, and identifies the effects they have on school occupants and the environment.
- Find ideas for incorporating physical activity into classroom learning from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and on Edutopia.
- Learn more about setting up a walk or ride to school day from the Green Streets Initiative, Safe Routes to Schools, and National Walk and Bike to School Day.
- Use the Living Schoolyard Activity Guide from EcoSchools to use your school’s garden as a fun, outdoor area for physical activity.