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FIT: A community-engaged approach to health and physical education

02 October 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 5



The purpose of the Smart Nutrition and Conditioning for Kids (SNACK) pilot study was to increase fitness levels and overall health of children aged 7 to 9 years in two elementary schools, one urban and one urban rim. Fundamental Integrative Training (FIT) was incorporated into physical education class and was considered a vital component of SNACK.


The FIT intervention was performed twice weekly during physical education class for 8 weeks. Pre- and post-Fitnessgram fitness tests were completed by each child.


Fitnessgram fitness test scores improved for all fitness tests for both the experimental and control groups in both schools (P<0.05). Significant differences between groups were found in 4 areas: PACER, push-up, curl-ups, and long jump (P<0.05).


FIT is one example of an interdisciplinary (nursing, health and exercise science students and faculty, elementary school administration and staff) collaborative approach to improving fitness levels with limited time and resources.

It is imperative for nursing students to experience learning in a variety of settings with the transition in health care to primary care, health promotion and population health. Collaborative practices in the community are an ever-increasing necessity (Clark, 2017; Lloyd et al, 2012; Rubin, 2012). Interprofessional/community collaborative practice is the foundation for the Smart Nutrition and Conditioning for Kids programme (SNACK). The SNACK programme consisted of:

Activities to get the children ‘moving’ took place both in the classroom and during physical education (PE) class. PE activities were 30–45 minutes long including at least 15 minutes of ‘FIT’ activities (i.e. strength-building activities with balloons that the children could repeat at home). Healthy eating and nutrition education also took place in the classroom, lunchroom and PE class. The SNACK programme included interdisciplinary collaboration of nurses, a nutritionist, an exercise science specialist, school administrators, teachers, undergraduate Nursing and Health and Exercise Science (HES) faculty and students, and parents. One successful component of this collaborative approach to combatting childhood obesity was Fundamental Integrative Training (FIT).

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