Be Active Your Way Blog
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month! This month, organizations, schools, worksites, and communities across the nation are celebrating the benefits of being physically active, and the strides we've all made to help Americans move more. During May, take some extra time to enjoy the fun and excitement of being physically active with your friends, coworkers, and family.
How are you or your organization recognizing National Physical Fitness and Sports Month? E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to contribute a blog post!
Originally posted on the Let's Move! blog, in honor of the 3rd year anniversary of the Let's Move! campaign
Since early 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative has been an important driver of childhood obesity prevention efforts across the nation. Through Let's Move!, leaders in business, health care, community, and government have joined educators, childcare providers, faith leaders, chefs and many others to have a meaningful, positive impact on the health of our nation's youth. This month, Let's Move! highlighted their accomplishments from the past three years on their blog.
Here's a snapshot of some Let's Move! milestones and collaborations from the past 12 months:
To learn more about Let's Move!, visit www.letsmove.gov.
Physical Activity Guidelines Midcourse Report
As we look forward to another year of robust partnerships and efforts to improve the health of America's children, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in partnership with the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, is happy to announce the upcoming release of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. This report, to be released on March 8, 2013 at the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit, highlights evidence-based intervention strategies for increasing physical activity throughout various sectors of society.
Learn more by visiting http://www.health.gov/paguidelines.
Tags: physical activity, childhood obesity, Let's Move, recreation, schools
Building Healthy Communities | Environmental Interventions | Playing Outside | Policy | Preventing Obesity | Schools
Written by Dominique Dawes, Co-Chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition (PCFSN)
Originally posted on the PCFSN Blog, in honor of the February 6 observance of National Girls & Women in Sports Day
Each year, this observance provides us with a tremendous opportunity to help get more girls in the game, and make a significant investment in the future of our Nation. I am proud to serve as co-chair of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition and sound the alarm about the importance of ensuring equitable physical activity opportunities for all Americans.
Throughout my life, I have been transformed and inspired by sports. Since the first time I tumbled into a gymnasium at six years old to becoming an Olympic gold medalist, I was motivated and excited by the opportunities presented to me as an athlete and a coach. I owe my participation and success in
gymnastics (and so much more) to the passage of Title IX of the Education Act of 1972, which has transformed the lives of millions of girls by granting them greater access to participate in sports.
One amazing example of making this investment is in Daly City, California with the Benjamin Franklin Middle School girls’ basketball team. Their coach is 28-year-old Sarah Egan, who in addition to teaching social studies also teaches how to dribble, make layups, and block. The school has mostly low-income students from immigrant families, and Sarah faces significant challenges with her athletes.
In the first season the team didn’t win any games. But that’s not what Sarah focused on. She told her team, “You’re taking baby steps now. But you have it in you to catch up.” The next season 80 girls tried out and Sarah began to pick up the intensity. In the third season the team caught up and won their first game. Things only got better from there: they went to the championship finals. While Sarah taught these athletes the rules of the game, they learned more from each other and the game itself.
Title IX prohibits gender discrimination in educational programs. The law applies to all aspects of educational opportunities, but is most known for how it has impacted sports. Title IX requires that schools provide equal opportunities for male and female students to play sports, give male and female athletes equal athletic scholarship dollars, and provide equal benefits and services to athletes overall.
Since 1972, there has been over a 940% increase in sports participation for females in high school and the NCAA reports that there has been a 456% i
ncrease in female varsity athletes as well. In addition to the physical health benefits sports participation provides, female athletes are more likely to graduate from high school and have higher self-esteem than non-athletes.
Despite these strides, there are still more hurdles to clear. But with inspirational leaders like First Lady Michelle Obama, who launched Let’s Move! to end childhood obesity within a generation three years ago this week, I am confident that we will make even greater strides in the months and years ahead.
The positive impact of girls and women in sports is clear. The investment my family made in me as an athlete has significantly paid off, just like Sarah Egan’s has for the girls’ basketball team at Benjamin Franklin Middle School. Those girls developed skills and lessons that make them strong, smart, and competitive in all aspects of their lives. I urge you to continue to support the girls and women in your life to participate in sports and see what greater opportunities can be created. By doing this you will be investing in a brighter future for our nation.
For more information about National Girls and Women in Sports Day, visit: http://www.womenssportsfoundation.org/en/home/advocate/ngwsd/ngwsd
For more on Sarah Egan’s story and to read more success stories from the Faces of Title IX series, visit: Faces of Title IX site: http://www.nwlc.org/title-ix/
Tags: physical activity, national health observance, women in sports, female athletes
Barriers | Events | Policy | Schools
You may have read here before about the National Physical Activity Plan, but wonder how it can be put into action on a local or individual level.
The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) is a proud advocate for the plan, which is a comprehensive set of strategies, policies, practices and initiatives aimed at increasing physical activity in the national population. Our goal is to produce a measurable and progressive increase in the percentage of Americans who meet recommended guidelines for physical activity throughout their lifetimes. The results we are looking for include improved health and well-being; increased productivity; reduction of health disparities; and lowered rates of disease, disability, and premature death attributable to sedentary lifestyles.
To carry out our work for the National Physical Activity Plan, NCPPA has built a network of eight industry sector teams, including business/industry, education, health care, parks and recreation, public health, and transportation. These teams of individuals work together to develop strategies and tactics aimed at getting people moving.
So how do the sector goals translate into specific actions and policies? One great example where the impetus for increasing physical activity has tremendous impact is the military. Mission: Readiness, an organization of over 200 retired generals, warns Congress that the tripling of childhood obesity rates over the past three decades means that one in four 17-24 year-olds in the United States is too overweight for military service. Only 22% of high school seniors have daily physical education, and many students in those classes still get little exercise. Mission: Readiness advocates for replacing unhealthy public school food and making physical education and activity part of the school day. Over a 10-year period, the number of states with 40% or more of young adults who were overweight or obese went from 2 to 43, the group said. This is not only a public health issue, but one of national security.
Mission: Readiness continues to pushing state and school districts to increase physical education so more children will be physically fit and, therefore, prepared for military service.
CEO Pledge on Physical Activity
Another example of the NPAP in action is the campaign launched by NCPPA's Business & Industry Sector called the CEO Pledge on Physical Activity. On September 24, 26 CEOs of corporations and organizations committed themselves to being physically active, and signed the pledge to provide their employees with opportunities to engage in physical activity. The pledge reads:
For the betterment of my company, our employees, their families, and our country, I pledge to improve employee health and wellness by providing opportunities and resources for physical activity before, during or after the workday, and to enhance my own health and wellness by engaging in regular physical activity.
"Research studies show that overall employee happiness and productivity are enhanced by daily exercise, especially when accessibility and support to exercise come from within the corporate environment," NCPPA President Laurie Whitsel told CEOs assembled at a Capitol Hill signing ceremony. The lack of physical activity is a leading contributor to the nation's obesity crisis, and work-related concerns often create hurdles to employee access to opportunities for physical activity."
Below: Three CEOs present their signed Pledge on Physical Activity certificates. From left to right: Dave Pickering, Preventure; Brian Biagioli, National Council on Strength & Fitness; and Scott Goudeseune, American Council on Exercise.
Below: Sue Liebenow of L&T Fitness signs the pledge.
"The CEO Pledge makes clear that business leaders have an influential role to play in addressing our country's health and health care crises," said Joe Moore, President and CEO of the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, and one of the first to sign the pledge. "With most working adults spending roughly half their waking hours on the job on the days that they work, it is incumbent upon business and industry leaders to become part of the solution. By promoting physical activity and healthy lifestyles within the workplace, CEOs help their company's bottom line, but they also help society."
These are just two examples of how the National Physical Activity Plan is being put into action around the country every day. Please friend NCPPA on Facebook for more information and updates on the plan. And please check out our CEO Pledge page on Facebook, as well.
How are you implementing the National Physical Activity Plan?
Tags: Physical Activity Plan, CEO pledge, military, school fitness
Events | National Plan | Physical Activity and Employers | Schools
This page last updated on: 11/04/2009
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Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.