Policy Options to Support Physical Activity in Schools

François Lagarde, Claire M.A Leblanc


Rates of child and youth obesity and associated chronic diseases are rising worldwide, in part as a result of inadequate physical activity (PA) levels. Environmental change is needed in multiple settings to encourage the adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviours at an early age. Schools are an ideal setting in which to incorporate a variety of interventions in order to improve student PA levels and healthy eating environments. This paper reviews effective and promising policies for increasing PA levels in the school setting and introduces other untested interventions that could become the basis of future well-designed studies. Policies outlined in this review should be considered by a range of stakeholders and be carefully monitored and evaluated. These policies should include daily, quality, safe physical education and physical activity; extracurricular physical activity; training of physical activity leaders; active transportation to and from school; adequate facilities; and community outreach. Successful school initiatives and stakeholders should also be recognized formally for their contribution.

Key words: Policies; physical activity; school


Policy; physical activity; schools

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17269/cjph.101.1911