How to Improve Physical Activity for Children

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Physical activity is critical for healthy development in the young, but many children are being left behind. Physical Activity Research Center (PARC) investigators have examined physical activity across built environments, parks and recreation, schools, and rural areas—-all through an equity lens.

Years of research tell us there are many influences on young people’s physical activity (PA)—including psychological, social, educational, and environmental. Researchers have evaluated interventions focused on these factors and found several to be effective. However, little of what has been proven effective has been widely implemented or translated for under-resourced communities and communities of color. Applying an equity lens to promoting PA requires evaluation of evidence-based interventions in one population and then adaptation and implementation in other populations. Underlying inequities that lead to disparities in PA can be addressed by tailoring interventions to appeal to different cultures.

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Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2019 (authors: Meyer, Hipp, Botchwey, Floyd, Kim, Porter and Sallis)