State Uses New Program to Increase Physical Activity at Schools
More than 300,000 Wisconsin students are benefiting from comprehensive school physical activity programs, with opportunities to get 60 minutes of physical activity per day.


Kids on a playground with a ball.

From 2010 to 2017, Wisconsin started a comprehensive school physical activity program in over 50 school districts representing 450 schools with over 300,000 students to ensure that all students get 60 minutes of physical activity per day. The program, Core 4+,External promotes strategies that are effective, low-cost, and easy to adopt in the school setting, such as increasing active minutes of physical education in class, providing active recess, and promoting family and community physical activity outside of school.


The number of schools that have adopted these strategies has increased over time and there are now over 200 schools that are known to be implementing Core 4+ strategies impacting over 300,000 students. To show the impact of these initiatives on physical activity levels, students are using accelerometers to track the number of minutes they are active throughout the day. Preliminary data (8,000 records) showed that students are active for an average of 20 to 50 minutes per day.

The data also showed when students are the most and least active and revealed different sources of activity between elementary, middle, and high school. These data will help schools better target and evaluate their efforts to increase physical activity among students in Wisconsin.

This program was supported by CDC’s State Public Health Actions to Prevent and Control Diabetes, Heart Disease, Obesity, and Associated Risk Factors and Promote School Health cooperative agreement (DP13-1305).