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School Physical Activity Policy is Associated with Student Physical Activity Outcomes

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Objective: We examined whether the presence of specific school policies is related to physical activity outcomes in adolescents. Methods: We used data from the 2010 Minnesota School Health Profiles and Minnesota Student Survey (MSS). Descriptive and linear regression models were used, testing interaction by school minority status and free/reduced meal participation. Results: Schools (N = 239) with policies allowing more exemptions from PE had fewer days of PA participation. Curricular policies were associated with more days of PA. Schools with large low-income student enrollments and with policies for intramural/club participation had fewer days of PA and lower participation in school sports teams. Conclusion: School policymakers should re-examine their policies related to PE exemptions and assure adequate support and reduction of barriers for low-income students.
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Keywords: ADOLESCENT HEALTH; PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OUTCOMES; SCHOOL HEALTH POLICY; SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATION POLICY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2017-05-01

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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