In April 2011, the National Afterschool Association released physical activity standards for afterschool programs and summer camps, but many of the existing standards and policies lack clearly defined benchmarks.
Active Living Research released a report Policies and Standards for Promoting Physical Activity in Afterschool Programs that summarizes research on physical activity in afterschool programs and examines how policies can help afterschool programs more effectively promote physical activity and prevent obesity among children. Some key findings include:
Children accumulate 13 minutes to 24 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity each day at afterschool programs. This is less than half of the minimum national recommendation for physical activity.
The majority of existing policies regarding physical activity for afterschool programs claim to be evidence-based, yet none of the evidence cited was based on data collected within the afterschool program environment.
One study found modest increases (of up to 10 minutes per day) in the total daily amount of time children spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. This was achieved by allocating time for physical activity, involving staff in activities or making other changes to better support physical activity in afterschool programs.