Web Forum

Improving School Policies and Settings to Increase Physical Activity
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 | 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Pacific

We need to increase physical activity among children, in order to create life long healthy habits. Children's participation in regular physical activity is associated with improved cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health, better mental health and emotional wellbeing, as well as prevention of such chronic diseases as obesity, hypertension and type-2 diabetes. There also is substantial evidence showing that children who are physically fit and active tend to perform better in the classroom. Despite the overwhelming evidence that physical activity is beneficial, fewer than half of U.S. children and adolescents currently meet the recommended activity guidelines.

Research indicates that schools are an excellent - though underutilized - place to increase young people's physical activity. This Web Forum will highlight the substantial and growing body of evidence concerning effective ways to get children more active in the school setting - inside as well as outside of regular classes. We'll discuss strategies to improve the quality of physical education, recess, and other school policies, programs, and environments to support physical activity.

Co-sponsored by Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this Web Forum will showcase national leaders summarizing the science behind the role that schools play in supporting physical activity. We'll hear and share examples of school policies and school-based interventions designed to get people more active. Please join us for this exciting Web Forum!







    Thom McKenzie, PhD
    Professor Emeritus
    School of Exercise and Nutritional Sciences
    San Diego State University
    San Diego, CA

    Thom McKenzie, PhDA native of Canada, Dr. McKenzie is a former school physical education and health teacher, coach, and administrator, the director of residential camping programs for the overweight, and a 16-year performance enhancement consultant to USA National Volleyball Teams. He has authored or co-authored over 170 scientific papers and chapters, developed numerous assessment and curricular materials, and presented over 400 papers at state, national, and international conferences. (http://ens.sdsu.edu/faculty/mckenzie.php)

    Aaron Beighle, PhD
    Associate Professor
    Kinesiology and Health Promotion
    University of Kentucky
    Lexington, KY

    Aaron Beighle, PhDA former elementary physical education teacher, Aaron Beighle specializes in the areas of physical education and physical activity for youth. He is currently a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky where he trains future physical educators and conducts research in the area of physical activity promotion for youth. Dr. Beighle has consulted with school districts, recreation programs, and youth sport organizations across the country in their efforts to maximize physical activity experiences and promote physical activity for youth. (http://education.uky.edu/KHP/content/faculty)

    Martin Gonzalez
    Assistant Executive Director
    Member Services
    California School Boards Association
    West Sacramento, CA

    Martin GonzalezMartin Gonzalez is the California School Boards Association’s assistant executive director, member services. Martin has been instrumental in CSBA’s past efforts to focus and raise awareness on the importance of student health and its impact on academic achievement. Martin was instrumental in the development of the Student Wellness: a Healthy Food and Physical Activity Policy Resource Guide, Monitoring for Success: A Student Wellness Implementation Monitoring Report and Guide, and Building Healthy Communities: A School Leaders Guide to Collaboration and Community Engagement. (www.csba.org)


    Deborah Lou, PhD
    Program Analyst
    Active Living Research
    A National Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
    University of California, San Diego
    San Diego, CA

    Deborah Lou, PhDDebbie Lou is the program analyst with Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Debbie engages advocacy, policy, and community groups to develop opportunities for research translation and dissemination, especially to ensure the research meets the needs of communities at highest risk for childhood obesity.

    Debbie is co-author of a research synthesis with Dr. Wendell Taylor titled “Do All Children Have Places to be Active?” This synthesis reviews evidence showing that lower-income people and racial and ethnic minorities often live in communities that discourage active living. (www.activelivingresearch.org)


The following documents are PDF versions of the speakers’ presentations and are intended to be used for reference only.

McKenzie/San Diego State University

Beighle/University of Kentucky

Gonzalez/California School Boards Association


The following documents provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.


The following websites provide important background information that can enhance the Web Forum experience.

CATCH Physical Education | Coordinated Approach To Child Health
Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity
Learning Landscapes
| College of Architecture and Planning | University of Colorado Denver
Playworks | Play and recess to support social-emotional learning
SPARK Research-Based PE Programs, Physical Education Curriculum & More


Clymer School's Morning Jogging program gets kids on their feet and moving for up to 20 minutes before classes begin each day. Let's Move

Retrieved from http://youtu.be/co3n1F02I8M

Making the Most of Physical Education
Designed for school administrators, board members, teachers, parents, and others interested in quality physical education. Abbreviated research findings inform viewers about characteristics of quality physical education and barriers to its delivery and the relationship between physical education and academic achievement. A call to action is provided.

Retrieved from http://youtu.be/VVkGGXb0LgU


The organizations listed below have come together to sponsor this important effort:

Public Health Institute Logo The California Endowment http://www.activelivingresearch.org/

Public Health Institute

The California Endowment

Active Living Research