Before- and After-School Physical Activity: Programs and Best Practices

Brian Dauenhauer, Pamela Kulinna, Risto Marttinen, Megan Babkes Stellino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Before- and after-school programs can be excellent opportunities for schools to provide supplemental physical activity (PA) and reinforce the knowledge, skills, and dispositions taught in physical education, particularly when some schools may perceive PA during the school day as competing with academic learning time. Before- and after-school PA programs can be offered directly by school staff, or in partnership with community organizations, and can include offerings like intramural sports, mileage clubs, active childcare programs, interscholastic sports, active transport initiatives, and PA clubs. Research findings suggest that before- and after-school programming can contribute meaningfully to children and adolescents’ daily PA accrual and offer additional benefits related to cognitive health and social-emotional wellbeing. Careful attention should be paid by program leaders and staff to the structure of these programs to maximize potential benefits for youth. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief summary of the research conducted to date on before- and after-school PA programs with a specific intention to extend the content reviewed since the last special issue of JOPERD on CSPAP nearly a decade ago (Beighle & Moore, 2012). In this article, we endeavor to translate the literature on before- and after-school PA programming and evidence of its impact into tangible strategies that school stakeholders can use to deliver these programs effectively in schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-26
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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