Teen Health Week
Penn State PRO Wellness, with funding provided by Children’s Miracle Network and GIANT Food Stores, collaborated with global partners in observation of Teen Health Week during April 1-7, 2019 and March 18-24, 2018.The week-long initiative raises awareness of how teens are affected by preventive care, vaccines, nutrition and physical activity, violence, oral health, and mental and sexual health. Teen Health Week is an annual global initiative to encourage teens across the world to take charge of their physical and mental health, and facilitate healthy habits they will carry throughout their lives.Penn State PRO Wellness presented a number of events on diets, depression, drugs and more for teens and their parents in Penn State Children’s Hospital. Additional infographics and videos were created for supplemental resources.Click the resources below to learn more:
Early Childcare Studies
75% of children ages 3-5 are in childcare full time, spending an average 29 HOURS PER WEEK in childcare centers.
The practices in childcare settings and the policies under which they operate can directly affect what children eat and drink as well as influence their level of physical activity. Our preliminary work demonstrated that only half of regional childcare centers have a wellness policy. Our survey of 30 early childcare centers, which represented five counties in Pennsylvania, further indicated that parent engagement was the most common barrier that centers faced when implementing obesity prevention programs. The objective of our current early childcare study, funded by the Children’s Miracle Network, is to address these aforementioned barriers through a multifaceted obesity prevention program in Lebanon, Lancaster and Dauphin counties.
Four early childcare centers are currently participating and have been randomly assigned to either the basic or enhanced intervention group. The intervention utilizes the framework of evidence-based childcare center obesity prevention programs and includes a multidimensional approach to:
enhance parental engagement through a professional development workshop and additional wellness resources; utilize evidence-based assessments to evaluate the quality of written policy and practices at the early childcare center; and expand previous programming to enhance community engagement.
Training Teachers to Implement Physical Activity
The physical activity study was conducted during the 2016-2017 school year at four elementary schools in Lebanon, Pa. Thanks to funding through the Children’s Miracle Network, we were able to evaluate the impact of three types of social cognitive theory-based elementary school classroom physical activity training on teachers’ implementation rates, attitudes, knowledge and behavior.
Results of the intervention demonstrated an increase in teacher self-efficacy and knowledge. There was a significant increase of teachers who started using physical activity in the classroom who indicated no use prior to the study.
Click here to learn more about the study.