New report gives tips for increasing youth physical activity

strategiesThe federal government recently issued a draft report, The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Mid-Course Report: Strategies for Increasing Physical Activity Among Youth, which provides tips for increasing physical activity among young people. A complement to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (2008) recommending youth ages 6 to 17 engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day, the new report summarizes effective strategies for increasing movement among young people ages 3 to 17.

The new report focuses on interventions in places where young people live, play and learn, including school, childcare, community and home. Key recommendations from the report that have direct implications for those settings include:

  • School settings hold a realistic and evidence-based opportunity to increase physical activity among youth
  • Preschool and childcare centers that serve young children are an important setting in which to enhance physical activity
  • Changes involving the built environment and multiple sectors are promising and merit implementation even as the evidence continues to evolve
  • Media campaigns and technologies that help youth regard physical activity as a desirable and fun thing are valuable strategies to consider
  • To advance efforts to increase physical activity among youth, key research gaps should be addressed

The report concludes with a discussion of ways to “create a more active future for youth” by building on existing knowledge and proven practices as well as using new technologies. The findings demonstrate that whether you’re a school administrator, parent or policymaker, you can make a difference. All of us have a role in making sure physical activity is a fundamental element of young people’s daily lives.

You can participate in a webinar to discuss the report hosted by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition this Thursday, December 13 from 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm ET. The final report will be released in 2013.

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