Physical Activity and Physical Education
School Resource Brief
- Action for Healthy Kids. Program information and resources to help support positive changes in nutrition and physical activity in schools. Action for Healthy Kids partners with schools and families in every state to improve child and adolescent health and readiness to learn through better nutrition and physical activity.
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation: Healthy Schools Program. Tools, tips, and resources to implement this program aimed at preventing childhood obesity by encouraging healthy snacks and school meals and physical activity and education among students, teachers, and staff in schools. The alliance is a joint effort of the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.
- American Heart Association (AHA): For the Educator. Program information, lesson plans, and physical education activities and games to teach students about the importance of nutrition and physical activity to good health. School-based programs include NFL Play 60, Kids Heart Challenge and American Heart Challenge, CPR in Schools, and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation.
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Healthy Schools Physical
Activity. Data, science-based strategies,
policy guidance, and information
about national, state, and local
programs to improve physical activity and physical
education in schools. Resources and initiatives include
- Association Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and Academic Performance. (2010). [Literature review].
- School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity. (2011).
- School Health Index. A self-assessment and planning guide that elementary and middle/high schools can use to improve their health and safety policies and programs including those relevant to physical education and activity.
- Also see CDC’s tobacco free sports initiatives for materials to encourage an active and tobacco-free lifestyle.
- Department of Education (ED): Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP). Information about this grant program for local educational agencies and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, or improve physical education programs, including after-school programs, for children and adolescents.
- Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) Database. Information about journal articles, research reports, teaching guides, curricula, conference papers, and books covering all aspects of education-related issues. Enter "physical education" in the search box. Click on Search. Use the filters in the left navigation bar to further limit your search. ERIC is sponsored by the Department of Education (ED).
- Let's Move! Tools to help make schools healthier places to learn by providing quality nutrition, integrating physical activity during the day, and teaching children about the importance of embracing a healthy, active lifestyle. Let's Move! is a national initiative to address the challenge of child and adolescent obesity.
- Media-Smart Youth (MSY): Eat, Think, and Be Active! A curriculum designed for after-school programs to help young adolescents (ages 11 to 13) become aware of how media may influence their nutrition and physical activity choices. MSY was developed by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).
- National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE): State School Health Policy Database. A collection of state laws and policies in key areas of school health. Click on View by Topic. Scan the categories in the left sidebar and choose a topic (e.g., Physical Education, Requirements for Physical Educators, Requirements for Athletic Coaches, Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education, Organized Sports, Playground/Facility Safety).
- PE Central. Lesson and assessment ideas and instructional resources to help children and adolescents become more physically active. PE Central was developed by faculty and doctoral students in Virginia Tech’s Health and Physical Education Program.
- President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS). Fitness guides, forms, tracking software, promotion materials, and other tools for implementing this initiative to motivate students, including students with disabilities, to increase their physical activity and improve their fitness. Programs include the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP) and Presidential Active Lifestyle Award: (PALA+).
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Midcourse Report: Strategies to Increase Physical Activity Among Youth. (2012).
- Safe Routes to School (SRTS) National Partnership. Program materials, research highlights, and advocacy tools to promote the practice of safe bicycling and walking to and from schools to increase physical activity, reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, and enhance neighborhood safety. The SRTS National Partnership is a network of more than 400 organizations, government agencies, schools, and professionals.
- SHAPE America--Society of Health and Physical Educators. Physical activity and health education resources for teachers and coaches on elementary and secondary physical education, adapted PE, health education, coaching, and other topics.
- Special Olympics: PlayUnified. Tools to support this school-based initiative that focuses on social inclusion, bringing youth with and without intellectual disabilities together through sports and related activities.
- Kohl HW, Cook, HD, eds. 2013. Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [Consensus report].
- Physical Activity and Children and Adolescents professional resource guide (Includes sections about child care and early childhood education, community design, and special health care needs), family resource brief
- Community Services Locator: An Online Directory for Finding Community Services for Children and Families professional resource guide
- Nutrition in Children and Adolescents professional resource guide, family resource brief, school resource brief
- Overweight and Obesity in Children and Adolescents professional resource guide, family resource brief, school resource brief
- School Health resource brief
Physical Activity and Physical Education: School Resource Brief. (June 2011). (Updated: December 2016, March 2020).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., NCEMCH; Breanne C. Wilhite, B.S.
Reviewer: Olivia K. Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., NCEMCH.