Can Public Policy Change Fitness Habits?
|January 13, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Children and Family, Health, Policy||
A recent paper from The Convergence Partnership reports on policy initiatives and programs under consideration in communities across the nation to increase active living and recreational habits for children and youth. With the high rate of youth obesity and the evidence linking obesity to myriad physical health issues, concerns about sedentary lifestyles have become part of the public policy arena.
The report, Fostering Physical Activity for Children and Youth: Opportunities for a Lifetime of Health by Virginia Lee, Janani Srikantharajah and Leslie Mikkelsen reviews numerous strategies that may increase interest in and opportunity for exercise and activity, including:
- school wellness policies that improve the quality and the quantity of physical education class and physical recreation;
- mandates and funding for physical activity programming at early childhood centers, daycares, Headstart and after-school programs;
- increased access to extra-curricular sporting activities for youth; and
- improved infrastructure to promote biking and walking as part of the daily routine of youth and their families.
Does your organization have a wellness program (formal or informal) for clients and/or employees? Are they utilized? Should social service nonprofits take a leading role in advocating for policies that support increased daily physical activity opportunities for children and families?