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School Health Connection Receives Local Innovator Award

April 16th, 2012

The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s School Health Connection (SHC) was presented with the Local Innovator Award from the Physical Activity Special Interest Group (SIG) of the Society of Behavioral Medicine for its implementation and evaluation of Instant Recess®. 

The Local Innovator Award recognizes an organization or individual who has made innovations and important contributions to the advancement of physical activity on a local level. The presentation took place on April 12, 2012, at a session of the annual meeting of the Society of Behavioral Medicine.

SHC partnered with Dr. Toni Yancey, a professor in the Department of Health Services at the UCLA School of Public Health, and Instant Recess® to implement and evaluate the Instant Recess® 10-Minute Physical Activity Break program in high schools throughout Orleans Parish. Instant Recess® 10-Minute Physical Activity Breaks are designed to change cultural norms to increase moderate regular physical activity participation and are available on DVD for use anywhere at any time.

The 10-minute breaks are a series of simple aerobic dance/calisthenics movements that are integrated into the school day. These simple, easy-to-learn exercises can be performed by individuals of varied fitness levels at varying levels of intensity. They are designed to require minimal disruption of routine and are targeted towards an audience of diverse racial/ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

While Instant Recess® has proven to be effective for adult populations, elementary and middle school students, there has been little effort to bring in-class physical activity breaks to high schools. Pilot testing with New Orleans high school students demonstrated a need for new Instant Recess® breaks that would appeal to this demographic. SHC contracted with Grammercy Research and have worked closely with local students to develop fitness routines that have been filmed and are currently in production. SHC is also conducting a preliminary evaluation of Instant Recess® in two local high schools to determine its effect on student behavior.

The Society of Behavioral Medicine is a multidisciplinary organization of clinicians, educators, and scientists dedicated to promoting the study of the interactions of behavior with biology and the environment, and the application of that knowledge to improve the health and well being of individuals, families, communities and populations.

About School Health Connection

School Health Connection (SHC) is a regional collaborative effort formed after Hurricane Katrina to support the rebuilding and expansion of SBHCs in the New Orleans Metropolitan area. SHC collaborative partners include local and state government and school systems, universities, medical institutions, foundations, and community partners. In 2006, SHC received funding to support the construction of SBHCs and enhance physical and behavioral health services in public and charter schools in the four-parish area. The Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI) administers funds provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation on behalf of the SHC program and its partners. For more information about SHC and a complete list of locations, partners and medical sponsors, visit www.schoolhealthconnection.org.

About the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI)

Founded in 1997, The Louisiana Public Health Institute’s mission is to promote and improve the health and quality of life in Louisiana through public-private partnering at the community, parish and state levels. By fostering collaborative endeavors in the areas of health information, public policy, applied research, and community capacity enhancement, LPHI works to develop community-oriented solutions that improve the health of the Louisiana population. For more information, visit www.lphi.org.

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