Back to all Project Ideas / Fun with Fitness in the Neighborhood
Providing an environment that encourages students to get up and move around is essential to their health. In 1969, 50% of America’s school students walked to school. Today, fewer than 5% do. One of many consequences over the last several decades is that 15% of our children are now considered obese (American Psychological Association). Encourage physical activity on the way to school, in the classroom, at recess, and in structured physical education courses—get up and move!
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.
- Work with teachers to incorporate movement into their classes.
- Set a goal of 50% active learning time.
- Play learning games where students move around the room. Incorporate stand-and-sit sequences into lessons. Be creative!
- Set up a walk/ ride campaign at your school.
- 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.
- Find ideas for incorporating physical activity into classroom learning from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and 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.
- Look through UNC Schools of Medicine’s Movement Based Instruction Resources for ideas for incorporating movement into the classroom.
Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia
“Discovery Elementary focused on sustainable transportation and launched a program called Two-wheel Tuesdays to increase the number of bicycle riders to promote student health and wellness and reduce CO2 emissions in our environment. This was a yearlong initiative where students were invited to ride their bikes to school every Tuesday. The student eco-action team worked on creating projects to promote the event. Once of the fifth-grade classes designed sustainable sculptures about Two-Wheel Tuesdays to promote health and wellness and biking to school. The school held a bike drive during Family Fitness Night to donate collected used bikes to a local charity.”