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Health Team

New standards provide guide for after-school activity

Posted April 30, 2009

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— After-school providers now have a guide they can use to help children meet the 60 minutes or more of daily physical activity recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Unveiled Thursday, the Move More After-School Collaborative's standards will help programs focus on changes they can make to provide more physical activity to the young people they serve.

Physical activity can be a part of what after-school programs are already doing. The Move More After-School Standards are voluntary, but recommended by the many organizations that supported their development.

“The standards are a valuable resource to help after-school programs incorporate physical activity,” Jamie Knowles, director of the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs, said.

North Carolina is the first state to develop a comprehensive set of standards for physical activity in after-school programs, according to Dr. Marcus Plescia, chief of the Chronic Disease and Injury Section in the state Division of Public Health. The standards will help after-school programs improve child health in a state that ranks fifth nationally in child obesity.

“This is not simply an individual issue,” Plescia said. “Obesity is a community issue. It’s about young people in our state having opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating throughout the day."

The Move More After-School Collaborative is made up of after-school providers, funders and community partners working together to support more physical activity opportunities for children and youth.

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