Open gym time
Diet & Exercise
Educators Local Government State Government
||10-19% of WI's population
|Impact on Disparities:
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Open gym time is offered during the school day to schoolchildren, typically during the lunch period when the gym or multipurpose room is not in use. Joint use agreements can expand open gym opportunities to include community members after school hours and on weekends.
Expected Beneficial Outcomes
Increased physical activity
Evidence of Effectiveness
Open gym time is a suggested strategy to increase physical activity levels for children and adolescents (CDC MMWR-School health guidelines 2011, KP-Thriving schools). Open gym time has been associated with increased physical activity (Mora 2012, CG-Hoonah Alaska 2012). However, additional evidence is needed to confirm effects.
Open gym time can be implemented as part of a comprehensive school-based physical activity program designed to incorporate additional physical activity opportunities in the school day, or as a standalone effort (Heidorn 2010).
Open gym time during the school lunch period has been implemented in many schools, as in Brevard, NC (Brevard-Smart lunch); Plattsmouth, NE (KP-Open gym); and several cities and towns in Wisconsin (WI DPI-Wagner 2012). In Kearney, Nebraska, the Kearney Public Schools implemented open gym time as part of comprehensive changes to increase student physical activity levels throughout the school day (RWJF-Kearney NE).
Open gym time during the lunch hour has been implemented in schools in many cities and towns in Wisconsin, for example Beloit, Elcho, Oakfield, Osceola, and Platteville (WI DPI-Wagner 2012).
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation (AFHG). Physical activities: Activities during the school day and out of school time activities. Accessed on March 2, 2016
- Healthy Out-of-School Time (HOST) Coalition. Resources: Physical activity (PA). Accessed on March 9, 2017
Citations - Evidence
CDC MMWR-School health guidelines 2011
- National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH). School health guidelines to promote healthy eating and physical activity. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). 2011:60(RR-05):1-71. Accessed on December 7, 2015
CG-Hoonah Alaska 2012
- The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide). Rural community works together to stay “fun and fit.” Atlanta: The Guide to Community Preventive Services (The Community Guide); 2012. Accessed on December 19, 2016
- Heidorn BD, Hall TJ, Carson RL. Theory into practice: Comprehensive school-based physical activity program. Strategies. 2010;24(2):33-5. Accessed on February 4, 2016
- Kaiser Permanente (KP) Thriving Schools. Open gym. Accessed on March 2, 2016
- Mora R. Moving bodies: Open gyms and physical activity in Santiago. Journal of Urban Design. 2012;17(4):485-97. Accessed on February 29, 2016
Citations - Implementation
- Brevard High School. SMART lunch: SMART lunch stands for students, maximizing, achievement, relationships, and time. Accessed on April 6, 2016
- Kaiser Permanente (KP). Thriving schools: Open gym in Plattsmouth Community Schools District, Nebraska. Accessed on March 2, 2016
- Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Signs of progress: Kearney, Nebraska. Accessed on March 2, 2016
WI DPI-Wagner 2012
- Wagner K. Wisconsin Success Stories: Active Schools. Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WI DPI); 2012. Accessed on April 6, 2016
Page Last Updated
December 1, 2015
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