After-school programs provide children with a safe and enriching environment to learn and engage in activities outside of regular school hours. These programs offer a wide range of services and features, from academic support to arts and crafts, but one of the most popular program features is physical activity.
According to the America After 3PM report by the Afterschool Alliance, 85.0% of after-school programs offer opportunities for physical activity. This statistic highlights the importance of physical activity in after-school programs and how industry operators are making it a priority.
The intensity and type of physical activity vary by program. Athletic and sport-focused programs likely provide more physical activity than academic-focused programs. Nonetheless, most industry operators provide at least some time for physical activity and play.
The importance of incorporating physical activities into after-school programs has increased during the five-year period. Health and wellness initiatives, including Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign and Voices for Healthy Kids, have emphasized physical activity as a critical component to keeping children healthy.
In 2022, IBISWorld estimates that organized physical activities represent 16.6% of revenue in the after-school program industry. This data supports the notion that parents and industry operators recognize the value of physical activity in after-school programs and are willing to invest in it.
Physical activity offers many benefits for children. It helps them build physical strength, coordination, and endurance, and it also improves their mental and emotional well-being. Research shows that physical activity can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood and self-esteem, and promote better sleep.
Moreover, physical activity can also help children develop important life skills, such as teamwork, communication, and leadership. By engaging in team sports or group activities, children learn how to work together towards a common goal, resolve conflicts, and respect one another’s differences.
In conclusion, physical activity is a critical component of after-school programs, and it is essential to promote children’s overall health and well-being. Industry operators should continue to prioritize physical activity in their programs, and parents should encourage their children to participate in physical activities after school. By doing so, we can help our children become healthier, happier, and more well-rounded individuals.
*Source: IBISWorld – Industry Report OD5884 – After-School Program Providers
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