The physical activity climate in minnesota middle and high schools

Anne Samuelson, Leslie Lytle, Keryn Pasch, Kian Farbakhsh, Stacey Moe, John Ronald Sirard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This article describes policies, practices, and facilities that form the physical activity climate in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota metro area middle and high schools and examines how the physical activity climate varies by school characteristics, including public/private, school location and grade level. Methods: Surveys examining school physical activity practices, policies and environment were administered to principals and physical education department heads from 115 middle and high schools participating in the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer-Identifying Determinants of Eating and Activity (TRECIDEA) study. Results: While some supportive practices were highly prevalent in the schools studied (such as prohibiting substitution of other classes for physical education); other practices were less common (such as providing opportunity for intramural (noncompetitive) sports). Public schools vs. private schools and schools with a larger school enrollment were more likely to have a school climate supportive of physical activity. Conclusions: Although schools reported elements of positive physical activity climates, discrepancies exist by school characteristics. Of note, public schools were more than twice as likely as private schools to have supportive physical activity environments. Establishing more consistent physical activity expectations and funding at the state and national level is necessary to increase regular school physical activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-817
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Physical education
  • Policy
  • Private schools
  • School wellness


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