Online Learning Institute: Moving Towards Equity – Reaching Every Student Through Physical Activity and Physical Education in Schools

Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible.[1]

Yet, not all students have these opportunities. When looking at data nationally, certain students consistently have poorer outcomes, and these differences are seen by factors such as race, income level, gender, and ability.

Ensuring that all students have access to quality, accessible school-based physical education and physical activity opportunities is one strategic approach to advance equitable academic and health outcomes. As a first step, it is critical to identify disparities in the implementation of Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program framework components in states, school districts, and schools across the country.  In Georgia, qualitative and quantitative research conducted by Georgia Health Policy Center and state agency partners revealed significant disparities in physical education participation and aerobic capacity among middle school girls, as well as barriers and preferences for physical activity. In Michigan, a classroom physical activity intervention implemented in elementary schools found lower rates of implementation in low-income schools. Springboard to Active Schools, Georgia Health Policy Center, and the University of Michigan will lead participants in a deeper examination of these two case studies and explore ways to integrate health equity principals into current and future physical education and physical activity programming.


  • Define health equity and identify potential root causes.
  • Identify practical example of inequities in PE/PA programming and approaches.
  • Identify strategies to (re)design with health equity in mind.

Featured Presenters:

Debra Kibbe, MS, Senior Research Associate, Georgia Health Policy Center, [email protected]

Emily Anne Vall, PhD, Executive Director, Resilient Georgia, [email protected]

Rebecca Hasson, PhD, FACSM, Associate Professor, Schools of Kinesiology and Public Health/Director, Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory, University of Michigan, [email protected]

Resources from Training:

Webinar presentation slides

Notes from training

Childhood Disparities Research Laboratory

InPACT study  

Active Living Research – Schools (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Mapping Life Expectancy (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)


[1] Human Impact Partners. Health Equity Guide.