The Healthy Schools Healthy Families Program - Physical Activity Integration Into Elementary Schools In New York City | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-0711

Journal of Community Medicine & Health Education
Open Access

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Research Article

The Healthy Schools Healthy Families Program - Physical Activity Integration Into Elementary Schools In New York City

Elizabeth Jarpe-Ratner1, Arlen Zamula2, Dodi Meyer3, Andres Nieto4 and Mary McCord5*

1Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

2Healthy Schools Healthy Families, New York Presbyterian Hospital, NY, USA

3Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, NY, USA

4Director, Community Health Outreach and Marketing, New York Presbyterian Hospital, NY, USA

5Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Mary McCord, MD, MPH
Department of Pediatrics
Medical College of Wisconsin, 999 N 92nd St
Rm CCC350, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: December 06, 2012; Accepted date: January 26, 2013; Published date: January 28, 2013

Citation: Jarpe-Ratner E, Zamula A, Meyer D, Nieto A, McCord M (2013) The Healthy Schools Healthy Families Program–Physical Activity Integration into Elementary Schools in New York City. J Community Med Health Educ 3:194. doi:10.4172/2161-0711.1000194

Copyright: © 2013 Jarpe-Ratner E, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Increasing physical activity delivers proven results in combating childhood obesity. The high prevalence of childhood obesity and the lack of effective treatment mandate a prevention approach that targets all children. School based programming is an important tool to reach all children. Healthy Schools Healthy Families (HSHF) partnered with teachers, community groups and school leadership to increase physical activity during school hours, targeting all children in seven low resource inner city schools. The intervention targeted 5000 children in seven inner city schools in New York City. Results are reported from 2009-2010. A multi-faceted approach targeted in-class, recess and gym time with programming varying from school to school, tailored to specific school needs. Minutes of physical activity were tracked using a classroom-based logging system, with incentives provided to teachers, school-aides and schools documenting the most activity. HSHF schools averaged 110.8 minutes/week/class with significant variation between schools. HSHF successfully generated by, at all school levels, with 2010 data reaching the CDC recommendation for physical activity during school hours, despite severe resource limitations in program schools. HSHF offers a feasible model for increasing activity for all children in low-resource, inner city schools and for tracking results.