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Promoting Healthy Habits

Signature Assignment
Erica Granado & Danielle Boles
Course #18967
PPE 310: Health Literacy for Schools
Dr. Miller

Promoting Healthy Habits


Healthy habits seem like such a broad term because it is. These can be seen as almost
anything. This can include the amount of sleep someone gets, exercise, the food they eat, or any
other aspect that affects someones daily life. Though most of these to some students who are
younger are seen as aspects that they cannot change, it is important for students at any age to
realize how vital everything is to their everyday life. The amount of sleep can affect how well
students do in class or if they can even pay attention. The food they eat can affect weight, which
can lead to obesity or even diabetes. Overall, these little habits such as eating healthy, drinking
enough water every day, getting the right amount of sleep every night, exercising and many more
can have a chain reaction of effects on everyones everyday life. Even though these healthy
habits seem as easy as breathing, it is quite easy to have very unhealthy habits. These could
include actions such as not exercising, drinking or eating unhealthy food and drinks, staying up
all night and getting limited sleep and many others.
It is important to see there is a clear difference between healthy and unhealthy habits
though both do have impacts on lives no matter what. With this project, we will be modeling and
promoting these healthy behaviors and habits in our classrooms. It is important to realize that by
modeling these habits, students will be able to hear first-hand stories about unhealthy habits such
as staying up all night and drinking soda and hear how awful it can make someone feel,
especially when in school. With this in mind, the idea is that by us and other teachers promoting
these behaviors, students will begin to become more active and change other unhealthy habits in
order to better themselves while we, as teachers, better ourselves.

Promoting Healthy Habits

Review of Current Literature

Promoting health in schools is viewed as both a necessity and a difficulty. There are
several different factors that contribute to this being a difficulty. However, the first aspect to be
explored is the teacher. Students see teachers for about seven hours a day, five days a week. That
is a total of 35 hours just in one week. In this time frame, teachers can have huge impacts on
students lives. In a recent study of teacher candidates (both undergraduate and graduate),
participants were given a survey that focused on their own knowledge of health and nutrition as
well as opinion questions regarding the school environment and food options (Rossiter,
Glanville, Taylor & Blum, 2007). It was found that most teacher candidates were able to
distinguish between healthy and unhealthy habits such as food intake and activity levels. Also,
two thirds of the participants reported seeing unhealthy practices in the classroom (Rossiter et al.,
2007). In conclusion, the schools that these teacher candidates were placed at do include
nutrition education from primary grades up until the end of high school and these teachers
recognized that healthy habits such as healthy food choices and promoting physical activity can
have a huge impact on a students life (Rossiter et al., 2007).
One example of researchers found that these factors often include a lack of space and
appropriate facilities (Frerichs et al., 2016). With this study, three schools in Virginia were
condensed in to one school. However, with this new building, the idea was to have a design that
made promoting healthy habits less challenging. In this new school, it had grades Kindergarten
5th grade as well as no vending machines or even signs that could possibly promote unhealthy
habits (Frerichs et al., 2016). Also as part as the new building, multiple new aspects were added.
Some of these aspects include gardening activities at school, cross-fit after school classes for
staff, a nutrition club and misc. assemblies such as bringing in local farmers (Frerichs et al.,

Promoting Healthy Habits

2016). As part of the research, the researchers conducted interviews prior to the consolidation in
the old school buildings over perceptions and then again once everyone was in the new building.
Interviewers were asked about several different topics including experiences in the cafeteria,
student food choices, staff health and wellness and community involvement. Overall, there was a
drastic change between pre- and post- consolidation.
Another difficulty would be how to implement the promotion of these healthy habits. In a
study conducted through two elementary schools in Minnesota, researchers used the 5-2-1-0
method. This is eating fruits and vegetables five or more times a day (5), cutting screen time to
two hours or less a day (2), participate in physical activity for at least an hour a day (1) and
restricting soda and sugar-sweetened sports drinks (0) (Tucker et al., 2010). By utilizing this
strategy, researchers tracked body mass index (BMI) changes throughout the course of one year
for students in 4th and 5th grade as well as teachers and other faculty. With this study, senior year
nursing students would come in to educate the students about healthy behaviors and choices as
well as educating about childhood obesity and consequences (Tucker et al., 2010). Initially,
researchers measured the body mass index of all participants to get a baseline as well as to
accurately track changes throughout the year. Also, throughout the research there were two main
goals: create a partnership between the schools and other resources (i.e. nursing schools) to
create new ways to help and prevent childhood obesity and analyzing different types of
intervention strategies for obesity among the 4th and 5th graders (Tucker et al., 2010). Following
the experiment, researchers concluded that partnering with other health specialists such as
nursing students can be extremely beneficial to students as well as teachers and other faculty.
However, when analyzing intervention techniques based off of body mass index proves to be
ineffective because this requires too much differentiation and special cases (Tucker et al., 2010).

Promoting Healthy Habits

Schools can also view physical activity as a difficulty because it is sometimes not seen as
necessary or needed, though, physical activity can be a key determinant in activity level
predictions for adulthood (Kohl & Cook, n.d.). In this specific case, researchers analyzed the
relationship between physical activity and physical education in schools that include before,
during and after school activities/classes. As well as looking at the relationship between these
two, researchers also examined the physical and cognitive effects of physical activity (Kohl &
Cook, n.d.). After concluding the research, it was found that with moderate to vigorous physical
activity throughout the school day could lead to students being healthier in life. This moderate to
vigorous activity could be completed during recess, which is often not seen at a junior high or
high school level, or during physical education classes. There is also the option that students
could be given the opportunity for physical breaks during a normal school day in the classroom.
There are many different online resources as well for these breaks. These breaks can also benefit
the students cognitive response and help the students not remain sedentary (Kohl & Cook, n.d.).
Overall, it could be seen as very simple to include physical activity throughout the day.
The last research to look at is Michigan and the four-year plan. During these four years,
there were five main goals to the experiment: eating more fruits and vegetables, choosing less
sugary foods and beverages, eating less fat and fatty foods, being active every day and spending
less time in front of the screen (Corriveau et al., 2015). Experimenters tracked data for a total of
five times; one for a baseline and four follow-ups. With these check-ins, the experimenters
measured such things such as body mass index, lipids, blood pressure and heart rate (Corriveau
et al., 2015). There was also a separate tracking of minutes of physical activity as well as how
much time is spent on the computer/cell phone/television. Throughout the course of the
experiment, there was clear fluctuation in the numbers. Overall, all the numbers did decrease by

Promoting Healthy Habits

the end of the four years even though occasionally, the numbers would go back up sometimes in
the middle of the four years (Corriveau et al., 2015). Overall, it is seen that with making physical
health a key goal of school, numbers can come down and eventually spread to make a bigger
difference in the community.
Synthesis of Information
Based on the research articles that were explored, there is clear correlation between many
different aspects in a school and promoting healthy habits. With that in mind, the research
covered a variety of different aspects. This included examining teacher candidates knowledge of
health and promoting healthy habits, the actual school environment and physical set up as well as
aspects such as the amount of physical activity and the food that is provided. When looking at
these articles collectively, there was the same general idea: promoting healthy habits is more than
possible and simple to implement with the right tools.
Looking at the first article, this focused on looking at knowledge that teachers and
teacher candidates enter the field with. It was shown that these teachers and candidates had all
the knowledge about these healthy habits. Overall, it was seen most of these schools were
implementing some form of promoting healthy habits in primary grades to high school. Based
off of this article, the main point to take away is that teachers mainly do have this knowledge. So
this, in no way, hinders their ability to teach these healthy habits.
Moving on to the second article, this dealt with the concern of space and equipment. In
this specific case, three schools were consolidated in to one new school in Virginia. With this
new school, it was designed to promote health and provide space for activities. Now, with this
article, it is clear to see how this could pose an issue. It is important to realize that not all schools
or even states have opportunities such as consolidating and building a new school. This may not

Promoting Healthy Habits

always be a viable option. It will be too costly to be a wise choice. However, this also
encompasses the space that is available at schools. Almost all schools have at least a field and a
gym. These two spaces provide enough room for physical activity. There could be more, but it is
manageable as it is.
Looking at two more of the articles, there were two specific experiments that were
conducted in Michigan and Minnesota. These two experiments conveyed two different ideas.
Looking at the Michigan experiment first, the researchers conducted a four-year study. This
allowed researchers to see longer term effects of the study. This could be viewed as a highly
qualified option as it is not always possible to see the affects with short term plans. This is what
researchers in Minnesota studied. Researchers conducted a study for one year where they tried a
different approach to improving the health of their students. Comparing these two studies both
saw improvements with the overall health of the students. Looking at situations like this, it is
important to remember that these possible solutions to health go by a case by case basis.
Looking at the last article, researchers analyzed both physical and cognitive affects
promoting these healthy habits. It was concluded that by having a more often reoccurrence of
physical activities and other health-related lessons, students would most likely have a healthier
life in the future. This is because during these experiments, students have to participate in these
activities. This then becomes almost like a second nature to these students and will eventually
continue on to later in life. Students will also experience long-term effects such as a lower rate
for heart disease or diabetes.
After analyzing the selected articles, it is very evident that these experiments/solutions
are a case by case basis. Some solutions such as changing the physical layout is not always a
feasible option. This simply worked because there were already three schools that were

Promoting Healthy Habits

consolidating to one. Other solutions such as incorporating more physical activity or healthier
lunch options are easier and more accessible to more schools. It also depends on the needs of the
school and the resources that the school has available to them.
Practical Implications
With this research in mind, the first step to take at this school is the the food that is served
in the cafeteria. Currently, students are required to have at least one fruit or vegetable on their
plate in order to finish going through the lunch line. A clear step to take with this would be
creating a vegetarian lunch day. This will be once a week where there are options such as a salad
bar available to students. This salad bar will be filled with healthy options, encouraging students
to eat healthier (See Appendix A). As well as this vegetarian day, there will also be a school-wide
assembly. This would be done using the staff of the school and presenting information on health.
This would include statistics of people their age and the health concerns that do arise (See
Appendix B). The hopes of this assembly would just be to bring this to their attention. After this
is brought to their attention, random classrooms will be chosen. These classrooms will appear
random to the students but these classes will be chosen based on the teachers schedule and
whether or not time permits. The following week after the assembly, mini lessons will start being
given to the students. On the first day, the students will receive a survey that addresses their own
health knowledge as well as some questions to get to know the students current healthy habits. It
is important for this survey to be anonymous. The students will then be given a survey at the end
of each week to judge the knowledge that they have gained. This will continue throughout the
course of three to five months. After this is completed, this program will be expanded to where it
is in almost every single classroom. Using this, the program will be modified to where the
students will receive more physical activity. This will continue for at least a month.

Promoting Healthy Habits

This experiment will continue for the remainder of the school year. This program will
again be modified following their results and fully implemented in the following school year.
During this time will come the following implication of posters (See Appendix C). There will be
posters that promote these healthy habits all over the campus. There will also be t-shirts that are
available to staff and there will also be a student crew that are volunteers. The idea of this
activity is to promote these healthy habits without having it interfere with other course work.
Having concluding the research, promoting healthy habits should be a key element in
education starting down at the kindergarten level and all the way up to the high school level.
There are many different options for how schools can go about promoting these healthy habits.
For example, when looking at the research, there were multiple approaches. This include
consolidating and creating new facilities that allow easier access to space or creating programs
that promote these healthy habits. These programs can also have short or long term goals.
Connecting this back to the research, one experiment lasted a year and the other lasted four
years. Both of these saw affects and changes in the data. It is important to look at the types of
changes that were seen in the data. It is proven through this experiment that the long-term
experiment saw greater changes in data compared to the short-term experiment.
It is important to have this promotion of healthy habits as it can have lasting impacts on a
students life. For example, this can lead to a decrease in obesity rates, a lower risk of heart
disease and a lower risk for diabetes. All of which could potentially be life threatening. It is also
important for these healthy habits to be started in early grades. If this is put in to place, students
move through the grades with continuous health knowledge. This can lead the students to make
these same healthy decisions even after finishing school or as simple as continuing these

Promoting Healthy Habits


throughout the summer. In conclusion, it is important to analyze the needs of the schools and
what the needs of the students are. With this information, schools can make informed decisions
about what interventions best fit. All of this in mind, there can be a lasting impact in students and
teachers lives.

Promoting Healthy Habits

Appendix A

Newsletter Update 2016

Vegetarian Lunch Days

Introducing a healthier option for students!

Starting next month, we will be having a weekly vegetarian lunch day! This will not
cost parents or students any additional money. This will include a salad bar other
Students will be able to create their own salad with any available food!
As a school, we want to start having a greater impact on your students health. So,
this is our first step in implementing new change that your children will see right
Children will still be able to bring their lunches as well on these days and any other
Please feel free to contact us in the front office about any questions or concerns
regarding these changes!

Sonoran Trails Middle School

Promoting Healthy Habits


Newsletter Spring 2016

Appendix B

Sonoran Trails Middle Schools

Health & Wellness Assembly Fall 2016

Staff Handout

Todays Agenda

Staff Introductions
Why are we here today?
Statistics: This generations likelihood of
What are we going to do as a school and district to better
our students?
o Vegetarian Lunch Days
o Increase in Physical Activity
o Mini Classes
What can parents and students do outside of school?
o Exercising
o Simple Fixes
o Food and drink choices

Promoting Healthy Habits


Release to classes

Appendix C

Promoting Healthy Habits

Corriveau, N., Eagle, T., Qingmei, J., Rogers, R., Gurm, R., Aaronson, S., & ...
Jackson, E. l. (2015). Sustained Benefit Over Four-Year Follow-Up of
Michigan's Project Healthy Schools. American Journal Of Public
Health, 105(12), e19-e25.
Frerichs, L., Brittin, J., Intolubbe-Chmil, L., Trowbridge, M., Sorensen, D., & Huang,
T. T. (2016). The Role of School Design in Shaping Healthy Eating-Related
Attitudes, Practices, and Behaviors Among School Staff. Journal Of School
Health, 86(1), 11-22.
Kohl, H. W., & Cook, H. D. (n.d.). Educating the student body: Taking physical
activity and physical education to school.
Rossiter, M., Glanville, T., Taylor, J., & Blum, I. (2007). School Food Practices of
Prospective Teachers. Journal of School Health, 77(10), 694-700.
Tucker, S., Lanningham-Foster, L., Murphy, J., Olsen, G., Orth, K., Voss, J., . . .
Lohse, C. (2010). A School Based Community Partnership for Promoting


Promoting Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits for Life. Journal of Community Health J Community Health,
36(3), 414-422.

Signature Assignment Rubric


(5) Exemplary
(97 100%)
Profession Healthy Habits
for points)

(3) Proficient
(83 92%)

(73 82%)

and below) 16

10 Points
outline with at
least 5
original peer
written in
APA format is
with a
selected to
embed the

5 x 2=10
on to the
topic and
(In your
1c,k; 5k;
9f; 10h
3a,d; 4a,c

(4) Highly
(93 96%)

Brief outline
with some
references but
not 5 original
peer reviewed
written in
APA format
are submitted.

Brief outline
No outline
with one or no was

is addressed
organized and
created a plan
for the paper.

Introduction is Introduction is
omitted or
and did not
create a plan
for the paper.

10 Points

is fully
introduces all
topics, created
a plan for the
paper and
invites the
reader to read
5 x 2=10

Brief outline
with at least 5
original peer
written in
APA format is

is fully
with all topics

Promoting Healthy Habits