Cook Children’s Gets Kids Moving — and Healthier — In Northern Texas
In an elementary school science classroom in the Fort Worth area, children work diligently on their assignments, eager to earn a chance when they finish to participate in a fun deskside exercise break that gets them up and moving . . . playing silly games, following mazes, and learning catchy dance moves. In the process, the young participants will add precious activity minutes into their day and also improve their academic performance, too.
A similar scenario is also taking place in the majority of elementary schools throughout the 6-county region of Texas, thanks to GoNoodle, an innovative school-based movement program sponsored by Cook Children’s. The program is used in public schools to increase kids’ activity levels and decrease obesity rates.
Childhood obesity is a serious problem in Northern Texas. As a health system focused on improving community health, Cook Children’s interest in tackling childhood obesity and related health challenges in such a targeted way began back in 2009, when the organization ran a community needs assessment and identified obesity as a pressing local issue.
The health system’s leadership also recognized that increasingly sedentary lifestyles, with more time spent in front of computer, phone, and television screens, were key to the problem. They were eager to find a way to change this trend. Yet they struggled to figure out where and how they could create the biggest impact. The answer came in an unexpected way, at the annual meeting of the Children’s Hospital Association.
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