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About the SRTS Program

Physical activity

Less active children are more likely to be overweight. The percentage of overweight children aged 6 to 11 years old has approximately tripled over the past 30 years.

According to 2012 nationwide data, 32.6 percent of children aged 6 to 11 years old are overweight.

  • In 2007-2008, 36% of K-12th grade students in the Anchorage School District were overweight or obese.1
  • In 2009-2010, 26% of K-3rd, 5th, and 7th graders in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School District were overweight or obese.1
  • In 2010, 26% of all Alaska high school students were overweight or obese.1

Most kids aren’t getting the exercise they need.

  • Among 9 to 13 year-old children, 61.5 percent do not engage in organized physical activity during non-school hours; 22.6 percent do not participate in any free-time physical activity.
  • Experts recommend that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week.
  • As age or grade in school increases, physical activity participation drastically declines.

Walking to school is associated with higher overall physical activity throughout the day.

Walking to school increases academic performance (Stephen Sayers PhD).

  • Reading scores for walkers increased 26.5% versus only 4.8% for non-walkers.
  • Writing scores for walkers increased 34.9% versus 32.4% for non-walkers.

Walking to School decreases school behavior issues.

Dr. Peter Stiepleman (Principal): “It was noticeable to staff that the kids who had walked through the park were calmer, better behaved, and had fewer referrals, during the critical first 45 minutes of the school day.”

Other potential benefits of physical activity for youth include:

  • Weight and blood pressure control
  • Bone, muscle, and joint health and maintenance
  • Reduction in the risk of diabetes


Check out our Sustainable Ideas page for ways to increase physical activity in your school.


    1. Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Childhood Obesity in Alaska. Retrieved January 1, 2013 from