Play EveryDAY Contributes to Healthier Youth

Play EveryDAY Contributes to Healthier Youth

Last updated: November 16, 2018, at 9:24 a.m. PT

Originally published: November 18, 2016, at 11:47 a.m. PT

In King County:

  • 1 out of every 5 youth is overweight or obese
  • 76% of youth are not getting the recommended 60 minutes of moderate activity five days per week
  • The average 8-18 year old spends 4.5 hours watching TV each day and 13.2 hours per week playing video games

To address these statistics, the Y partners with elementary and middle schools to offer Play EveryDAY, a recess program that focuses on youth gaining the competence and confidence they need to regularly engage in physical activity. The goal is to get kids moving, increase their interest in physical activity and for them to choose this as an ongoing lifestyle.

A YMCA Play Coach, who is trained in understanding the importance of motor-skill development and play education, helps lead recess activities that all kids can participate in. They will provide fun, group games and physical activity exercises designed to work on both health-related and skill-related fitness to further develop students’ competence and confidence in physical activity participation.

In the years since the Y launched Play EveryDAY in 2013, we’ve seen success in these key areas:

  • Students who normally choose low activity options at recess are participating
  • Students are learning new ways to be more active at recess
  • Students look forward to days when the Play Coach is at school
  • Schools report a significant drop in behavior issues during and after recess, including bullying and outbursts requiring staff intervention

Studies show that active kids do better in school. Being physically active has shown to help kids focus in the classroom, and in turn, perform better academically. We’re proud to be partnering with schools across King and south Snohomish counties to offer Play EveryDAY.