This is a fantastic elementary obesity prevention program. K-6
Drive 2 Fitness
Background: This year, a new elementary obesity prevention program is beginning to take hold in Boston and the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina. As a physical education teacher at Pearsontown Elementary School in Durham, Steve Mayhew has seen some changes in his students over the past year.
It Really Works! “They have a lot more energy,” he said. “They’re excited about exercise.” Students have come to Mayhew during class to tell him about a new sports team they joined or how they started taking walks with their parents. Mayhew credits a program called Drive 2 Fitness, or D2F, for helping his students live a healthier lifestyle. D2F was developed in 2004 and piloted in 10 Durham public schools. It is now being promoted around the state and in Boston. The program motivates students to achieve five healthy behaviors on a daily basis:
- Being physically active for at least one hour.
- Limiting television, computer and video game time to less than one hour.
- Limiting intake of sugar-added beverages.
- Eating 5-9 fruits and vegetables.
- Getting 8-11 hours of sleep.
Under the leadership and guidance of teachers, nurses and school mentors, students keep track of their points each day using personalized, Web-based tracking technology. Parents and teachers can verify points to promote honest participation and to offer encouragement. Points and rewards can be tracked and earned throughout the year. Top performers and most improved participants are recognized at a year-end event.