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Using Teacher Goal Boards to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity among Elementary Students

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DOI: 10.4236/health.2015.711159    2,232 Downloads   2,523 Views  

ABSTRACT

Background: The purpose of this study was to explore the feasibility and understand the potential impact on elementary students’ perceptions of, and intentions related to, healthy eating and physical activity when their classroom teacher sets and shares goals related to these health behaviors. Methods: Participants in this study included 16 teachers and 229 students of grades 3 - 6 at a large elementary school in the Western United States. Participating students were surveyed before and after a six-week intervention conducted by classroom teachers that consisted of a weekly displaying of Teacher Goal Boards in a prominent classroom location and sharing of goals set for the week. Teacher reports of the previous week’s goals occurred each Monday prior to sharing and posting of new goals for the new week. Results: Respondents reported significantly higher post-test values for over half of pre-post comparisons. Respondents were more likely to intend to be physically active (post = 52.6% vs. pre = 39.0%, p = 0.003), to eat nutritious foods (52.0% vs. 36.4%, p = 0.001), and to maintain a healthy body weight (62.8% vs. 52.2%, p = 0.022). Similar results were found for summary measures. Intention to be physically active, to eat healthy, to maintain a healthy weight, as well as descriptive norms for physical activity and perception and value of personal health behaviors were all significantly higher at post-test. Discussion: This study and its findings are significant because teacher participants were able to significantly and positively impact on students’ behavioral intent, subjective norms, and perception and value of personal health behaviors amongst students without spending additional time on formal health promotion and education instruction. Conclusion: Schools should incentivize and encourage faculty and staff to engage in a variety of health behaviors to improve both personal health outcomes and role model health behaviors for students.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Hall, P. , West, J. , Crookston, B. and Allsop, Y. (2015) Using Teacher Goal Boards to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity among Elementary Students. Health, 7, 1448-1459. doi: 10.4236/health.2015.711159.

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