A Novel Policy Alignment and Enhancement Process to Improve Sustainment of School-Based Physical Activity Programming

Penelope J. Friday, Lexie R. Beemer, Diane Martindale, Amy Wassmann, Andria B. Eisman, Thomas Templin, Ronald F. Zernicke, Lynn Malinoff, Anna Schwartz, Tiwaloluwa A. Ajibewa, Michele W. Marenus, Rebecca E. Hasson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The purpose of the current study was twofold: (1) to evaluate the strength and comprehensiveness of district wellness policies in one central Michigan intermediate school district (ISD; 16 districts), and (2) to pilot a novel policy alignment and enhancement process in one district within the ISD to improve sustainment of district-wide physical activity (PA) programming. Policy evaluation and alignment were determined using WellSAT 3.0. The Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) framework was used to guide a seven-step policy alignment and enhancement process. Initial evaluation of the PA policy for the ISD revealed a strength score of 19/100 (i.e., included weak and non-specific language) and 31/100 for comprehensiveness (i.e., mentioned few components of the Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program). For the pilot school district, initial strength scores were 19/100 and 38/100 for comprehensiveness (exploration). An alignment of the tailored PA policy with current practices resulted in a 100% increase in strength (score of 38/100), and 132% increase in comprehensiveness (score of 88/100; preparation). However, district administrators encountered barriers to adopting the tailored policy and subsequently integrated the PA requirements into their curriculum guide and school improvement plan (implementation and sustainment). Future research should examine the effectiveness of our EPIS-informed policy evaluation, alignment, and enhancement process to promote widespread increases in student PA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1791
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • classroom-based physical activity interventions
  • exploration
  • implementation
  • implementation science
  • preparation
  • sustainment framework

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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