Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs: Background and Implications
Recent estimates suggest that youth spend approximately 80-93% of their working hours in a sedentary state, such as sitting or resting longer than usual (Institute of Medicine, 2013). Schools are conducive of this sedentary behavior and because of that, they have been identified as viable locations for children to be physically active. In order for schools to accommodate the daily physical activity guidelines for youth--60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity--the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has created a whole-of-school approach that aims to promote and achieve physical activity guidelines for youth throughout and beyond the school day. This whole-of-school approach, also known as Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP), is a multi-component behavioral intervention that is typically set forth by the physical education teacher and serves as a framework to increase physical activity in and outside of the classroom. As part of this backgrounder, I will provide an overview of a CSPAP, discuss the inner workings of its components, and supply a brief overview of each of the four contributors for this critical issue.