chapter  33
16 Pages

Keeping Kids Active

Summertime Interventions to Address Physical Activity
WithElizabeth M. Rea, Amy M. Bohnert, Jennette P. Moreno, Allie Hardin

Obesity has reached unprecedented levels among children and adolescents in developed countries across the globe, with recent estimates of 23.8% of boys and 22.6% of girls being overweight or obese. This chapter provides a brief overview of summertime weight gain and fitness loss as well as the role of physical activity (PA) as a contributing factor. It summarizes the existing literature examining how PA fluctuates during the school year versus summertime. The chapter describes four key inter-related contextual factors that may drive these fluctuations e.g., climate/weather, structured days, family socioeconomic status (SES), and safety. It reviews the existing literature on summertime interventions to address PA with a focus on “what works” to guide researchers and practitioners. The chapter highlights key issues that should be addressed in future research. A related factor is a lack of access to safe places to play and hold summer camps or activities which could also impact on youth’s levels of PA over the summer months.