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Maximizing Opportunities for Physical Activity through Joint Use of Facilities

2009 | Download

Recent studies have emerged linking physical activity with improved academic performance, classroom behavior and school attendance among children and youth. Yet, some communities lack safe and accessible places for children to play and some schools lack adequate facilities and resources for physical activity and physical education programs.

What is "Joint Use?"

"Joint use" refers to a strategy that expands physical activity opportunities, programs and services for students, staff and the community by the district or county office of education (COE) jointly sharing recreational facilities with another governmental agency, community-based organization or the community before, during and/or after the school day. This strategy involves sharing program costs, liability, maintenance and operations. This approach is commonly known as “joint use” because the school and other entity jointly use one or more facilities, such as gymnasiums, pools, playgrounds, school yards, playing fields, tracks and/or multi-purpose rooms.

Policies and practices that provide opportunities for physical activity, such as safe and available open space, indoor/outdoor facilities and physical activity programs and equipment, can help promote healthy behaviors, improve academic outcomes and prevent childhood obesity. In a time of shrinking budgets for school districts/ COEs and local governments, joint use projects provide an opportunity to work together to identify creative solutions to achieve shared goals and priorities.

Created by the California School Board Association and PHI's California Project LEAN, this  research brief explores how to maximize opportunities for physical activity through joint use of facilities.

Read the brief. 

California School Boards Association is a collaborative group of virtually all of California’s more than 1,000 school districts and COEs. CSBA supports school board members, superintendents and senior staff by producing policy briefs, publications and other resources on health issues as they relate to education, including safe routes to school, student wellness, physical education, physical activity and community collaboration on youth services. www.csba.org/wellness.aspx

California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition) is a joint program of the California Department of Public Health and the Public Health Institute that focuses on youth and parent empowerment, policy and environmental change strategies, and community-based solutions to increase healthy eating and physical activity. CPL provides training, tools and technical assistance on developing, implementing and monitoring school wellness policies. www.CaliforniaProjectLEAN.org