Obesity Prevention - Healthy Futures: How we are getting kids moving
Introducing our partner in physical activity: Healthy Futures
In fall 2011, the Obesity Prevention and Control Program began a partnership with Healthy Futures.
Healthy Futures started in 2003 by two Alaska parents who were concerned about the health of the state’s children. In Alaska, about 1 out of 3 children is overweight or obese.
Today, Healthy Futures is the signature program of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame. The program encourages kids to build the habit of daily physical activity through three main efforts:
- Running the Healthy Futures Physical Activity Challenge through Alaska elementary schools.
- Supporting community physical activity events by making them fun and affordable for families.
- Working with positive, physically active Alaska role models, including Olympic skiers Kikkan Randall, Holly Brooks, and Sadie Bjornsen; professional skateboarder Preston Pollard; and Alaska hockey and basketball players.
DHSS Partnering with Healthy Futures
Increases Student Participation
Number of Alaska Schools and Elementary School Children Participating in the Healthy Futures Physical Activity Challenge, 2011 – 2015
The obesity program’s Play Every Day campaign partners with Healthy Futures to raise awareness about the health concerns linked with childhood obesity and increase the amount of daily physical activity of Alaska children and their families. The national recommendation is that children get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day for good health and maintaining a healthy weight.
DHSS continues to work with Healthy Futures to help run the Healthy Futures Challenge. These challenges happen twice a year in Alaska elementary schools — in the fall and in the spring. Elementary-aged students record their physical activities on simple log forms, turn those forms in at school, and win prizes for being active. The prizes promote physical activity.
Significant increase in Healthy Futures participation
Prior to the partnership of DHSS and Healthy Futures, 2 percent of elementary-age children across Alaska were participating in the Healthy Futures Challenge. During the spring 2011 Challenge, for example, only 36 schools signed up and 1,342 individual children participated. Since the partnership began, participation has risen significantly. The below numbers show increasing school and student participation in the spring challenge periods.
Spring 2012 Healthy Futures Challenge
Spring 2013 Healthy Futures Challenge
- Schools that participated: 110
- Number of participating students: 6,973 (about 10% of Alaska public elementary school students)
- Schools that participated: 136
- Number of participating students: 10,480 (about 15% of Alaska public elementary school students)
Spring 2014 Healthy Futures Challenge
- Schools that participated: 164
- Number participating students: 14,255 (about 20% of Alaska public elementary school students)
Spring 2015 Healthy Futures Challenge
The goal for the Healthy Futures Challenge is to serve 20,000 students in 200 elementary schools during the Spring 2016 Challenge.
- Schools that participated: 170
- Number participating students: 15,265 (about 22% of Alaska public elementary school students)
To learn more about Play Every Day, visit the campaign website, Facebook page, or YouTube channel.
To learn more about the Healthy Futures Challenge, visit one of these three websites: