Physical Activity: School Aged Children

Recess Activities and Tools

Use these physical activity breaks and other resources to get students moving!

Children with bicycles Walk or Bike to School

Communities can increase opportunities for daily physical activity by encouraging children to walk or bike to and from school. Use these resources to start or enhance a program in your area!

Physical Education

Refer to these resources to enhance the Physical Education program in your school.

Let's Move! Active Schools

Let’s Move! Active Schools is a collaborative effort to empower teachers, administrators, staff and parents to create active environments that engage students in movement every day. This initiative can help schools meet HUSSC physical activity and physical education criteria by providing free resources, training and grants to increase physical activity before, during and after class.

Nutrition, Physical Activity, & Obesity


Tools to help schools implement policies and practices to promote healthy choices and behaviors among children and adolescents.

Fuel Up to Play 60

National Dairy Council; National Football League; United States Department of Agriculture.

This in-school nutrition and physical education program empowers students to create and implement activities that reward them for making healthy choices, and inspire change in their school. There are a variety of tools and resources, including school activation kits and “play books” for enhancing the school health environment. Students can win prizes for choosing good-for-you foods and getting active for at least 60 minutes every day.

Presidential Youth Fitness Program

President's Challenge.

Participate in this voluntary program that includes an assessment, professional development, and motivational recognition to empower students to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle.

Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

To promote the guidelines and support youth physical activity, CDC and several partner organizations developed the Youth Physical Activity Guidelines Toolkit, which highlights strategies that schools, families, and communities can use to support youth physical activity.
The following materials address walk/bike to school programs:

- Youth Physical Activity: The Role of Schools Fact Sheets
- The Role of Schools in Promoting Youth Physical Activity PowerPoint Presentation

Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: A Guide for Schools

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance

This guide includes steps to engage multiple stakeholders in developing a comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) to help transform schools into more active environments, where all students have the opportunity to be physically active at different times and places throughout the school day. Schools can use the guided process to develop an action plan, implement strategies, and evaluate their CSPAP.

The Association between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This report is a literature review that examines 23 years of research on the relationship between school-based physical activity, including physical education, and academic performance. Adding time during the school day for physical activity does not appear to take away from academic performance.

Increasing Physical Activity Through Recess (PDF | 218 KB)

Active Living Research

This research brief provides a detailed overview of the key research results and policy implications for increasing physical activity through recess.

Recess for Elementary School Students: Position Statement (PDF | 128 KB)

National Association for Sport and Physical Education

This document outlines NASPE’s position statement for recess for elementary school children as an essential component of a comprehensive school physical activity program.

Supporting Recess in Elementary Schools (research brief)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Bridging the Gap.

This research brief provides an assessment of recess policies across school districts nationwide. State agencies, school districts, and schools can use this brief to identify areas of opportunity to strengthen this wellness policy component.

Joint Use of School Facilities

ChangeLab Solutions

This Website has information on making it easier for your community to access local school facilities like gyms, fields, basketball courts, and playgrounds. Check out the Website for a nuts-and-bolts guide to help school staff and other community leaders craft and implement joint use agreements.