School physical activity

Physical activity during the school day is important, not only for students’ health, but also for their academic success. A physically active student will see improvement in cognitive skills, concentration, and attention—and their educators will see improvements in the classroom.

As educators, you’re with students for a large portion of their day. This is your opportunity to help increase their activity level. Use these resources to ensure physical activity is built into the school day.

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Assess the school’s current programs and policies, and develop ways to improve the health and academic success of students.

This is your chance to set the foundation for creating a healthy environment. The Summary of the Final Rule of regulations can be used as a guide to help you develop content for your written policy.

Children are influenced by advertising, so limiting food-and-beverage marketing in schools is very important. ChangeLab Solutions has created a model wellness policy , with helpful language to use as a guide when revising your policy.

When you’re ready, you can have your policy reviewed by a team of experts.

Once revised, continually evaluate your policy to make sure that guidelines are being implemented, goals are being met, and new goals are being set.

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors has released The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) Model: A Guide to Implementation . The guide is designed to assist interested schools and school districts with adopting the model.


Alliance for a Healthier Generation has created guides full of tips and tools to help convene, plan, and implement policies and practices.

How does your school compare?

Download your school’s wellness plan to learn more about what they are implementing.


Springboard to Active Schools promotes physically active academic environments in school districts and schools across the country.

Here you can:

  • Get information on the national Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP).
  • Share Springboard-developed resources, training materials, and blogs.
  • Support CDC-funded partners to promote schools that are supportive of physical education and physical activity, at the state, district, and local levels.

Teacher teaching a gym class of students

The Virtual Healthy School is an interactive tool full of tips, tools, and other resources that can be integrated into your school.

Here you can:

  • Explore classrooms to learn what teachers are doing
  • Check out how they’re promoting healthy food choices
  • See what creative tools are being used during counseling sessions
  • Observe a School Health Team meeting

The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors is ready to help schools promote health achievements with their new Step-by-Step Guide for Communicating School Health Achievements.

Here you can:

  • See examples of how to create compelling messages.
  • Learn about different communication platforms.
  • Develop a plan to share success stories and statistics.

Concord High School
Woodbridge Middle School
North Dover Elementary School

CDC Training Tools for Healthy Schools: Professional Development Web Badge

Professional Development

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a variety of tools and resources to help professionals build skills and strategies to meet goals.

The SHAPE America Online Institute is an easy and great way for educators to earn and track professional development hours on their own time

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