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New IOM Interactive Graphic Shows How Schools Can Get Kids Moving


Nearly everyone involved in the effort to reverse childhood obesity knows that most young people do not get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

And nearly everyone agrees that schools must be part of the solution. Back in May 2013, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued a groundbreaking report on physical activity in schools that included with a series of recommendations as to how schools could best incorporate more physical activity into the school day.

Now IOM is helping to keep the momentum going with a new infographic that outlines those recommendations in an interactive and highly visual format.

For example, the graphic showcases how active transportation such as walking and biking can help kids squeeze some movement into their day. It also highlights the success of before school programs that provide a bit of activity for kids who live too far to commute by foot or bike.

The graphic highlights how 15 minute activity breaks during class provide a chance for students to move — and have been shown to decrease body mass index in students over a period of 2 years. Incorporating space for an “activity area” in a classroom can maximize space for physical activity, and the graphic features two examples of smart classroom design.

In addition, the graphic highlights the importance of recess, physical education, after school programs and intramural sports.

Click here to view the full infographic.