The Policy Resource Guide contains links to the Policies in Action referenced in the PAY Initiative, as well as other useful policies dealing with physical activity and youth.
The policy examples listed here are only a sampling of the extensive work and creative approaches currently operating at the grassroots level. Our intent is to continue to add to this section as we are alerted to new policy options and examples. To submit an example of Policy in Action, email email@example.com.
Table of Contents
I. After-school Programs
The time period intervening between the finish of the school day and the family’s evening meal, typically 3 to 6 pm, provides a prime opportunity for children to engage in enjoyable, unstructured or structured physical activity. However, this is also a time during which many children engage primarily in sedentary pursuits such as TV watching, video games, and talking on the telephone. Insuring that each child receives at least thirty minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity during the after-school time period would result in a marked increase in the percentage of young people who meet public health physical activity guidelines.
U.S. Department of Education: 21st Century Community Learning Centers
Alabama: Outdoor Program Funding
II. Community Programs
Community-based youth sport and physically active recreation programs provide children and youth with significant amounts of moderate to vigorous physical activity during after-school, weekend, and summer periods. However, barriers such as lack of transportation and cost prevent many children from participating in these programs. Guaranteeing that every child has access to existing community-based physical activity programs during after-school, weekend, and summer periods will insure that all children can enjoyably engage in regular physical activity. The Urban Park and Recreation Recovery Program, a program operated by the federal government, began in 1978 but unfortunately has received zero funding in both FY04 and FY 05 with no change expected in FY06.
III. Community Design
The physical environment strongly affects whether individuals can choose to be active. Sidewalks, bike paths, community recreation facilities, and safe pedestrian crossings are instrumental in encouraging physical activity. A community infrastructure that supports physical activity includes connected, accessible, well-lit, and safe sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks, and trails linked to destinations of interest to facilitate walking and bicycling; sports and recreation facilities that are close to the homes of most residents, well-maintained, and safe; and programs in place to motivate community members to walk and bicycle.
IV. School Programs
Physical education is at the core of a comprehensive approach to promoting physical activity through schools. Physical education helps students develop the knowledge, skills, behaviors, attitudes, and confidence needed to be active for life while providing an opportunity for students to be active during the school day. Qualified and appropriately trained physical education teachers are the most essential ingredients of a quality physical education program.