Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP)
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Active Schools Minnesota Report
Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) Evaluation Study
Physical activity is an important ingredient for health and academic success. Between 2014 and 2016, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) – through its Statewide Health Improvement Partnership (SHIP) – worked with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to implement and evaluate the Active Schools Minnesota initiative in 14 elementary schools in central and northern Minnesota. The goal of the initiative was to assist students in attaining the national physical activity guideline of at least 60 minutes of movement every day. These pilot schools committed to increasing time in two evidence-based Active Schools Minnesota strategies to increase opportunities for physical activity during and outside the school day.
Active Schools Minnesota is being implemented in schools across the state to increase the time that students are physically active. This evaluation study was conducted to capture the impact of SHIP’s Active Schools Minnesota strategies in 14 schools. Findings from the evaluation indicate that Active Schools Minnesota is a feasible and evidence-based approach to increasing physical activity among students. Between the beginning and end of the study, three schools increased time spent in physical education (+30 minutes per week on average), four schools increased time in active recess (+5.5 minutes per week on average), five schools added one new before or after school physical activity program, and 33 percent more teachers offered active classroom breaks (e.g., 5-10 minute bouts of physical activity during classroom time).