Category Archives: Resources

Keeping an eye on screen time – An interview with Dr. Gortmaker

In a recent interview with the Harvard Gazette, Dr. Steve Gortmaker discussed screen time, obesity, and our Outsmarting the Smart Screens guide for parents:

First there was too much TV, then computer and video-gaming addictions. Today, the proliferation of smart screens gives kids a three-in-one box, portable enough to be watched from anywhere, out of sight of watchful parents.

With parents and kids in back-to-school mode, refocusing on the daily demands of homework, sports, and activities, time spent staring at a screen comes at a premium. Steven Gortmaker, professor of the practice of health sociology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, has been studying how we have used and sometimes abused screen time since the 1980s, when he published one of the first studies linking TV watching to obesity. [Read the full interview on the Harvard Gazette]

Outsmarting the Smart Screens!

New tools and resources from the PRC to help limit children’s screen time.

We frequently hear from parents about the challenges of limiting the amount of time children spend in front of the television, computers, video games, smartphones, and tablets. Technology can be educational and fun. But, children are spending more and more time in front of all these different screens. Too much exposure can have a negative effect on their eating habits, schoolwork, and sleep. Healthy kids need healthy limits on their screen time. Continue reading

STUDY: A validated tool to effectively assess nutrition and physical activity environments and behaviors in after school settings.

An HPRC study found that the Out-of-School Nutrition and Physical Activity Observational Practice Assessment Tool (OSNAP-OPAT) can assist researchers and practitioners in validly assessing nutrition and physical activity environments and behaviors in afterschool settings. Continue reading

OSNAP Launches New Interactive Online Learning Community

The OSNAP Online Learning Community brings together afterschool staff to work through the process of making practice, policy, and environmental changes in their programs.osnap online learning community

Join afterschool and out-of-school time programs from across the country to improve children’s physical activity, nutrition, and screen time habits in your program!

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Keep it Flowing: A Practical Guide to School Drinking Water Planning, Maintenance & Repair

Keep It Flowing GuideKeep it Flowing: A Practical Guide to School Drinking Water Planning, Maintenance & Repair, addresses the practical side of drinking water in schools by outlining the steps needed to provide adequate numbers of properly maintained drinking fountains and tap water dispensers in school buildings.

It is designed for the people who make our nation’s schools run day-in and day-out, including those within state and tribal agencies and organizations, districts, school boards and local education authorities and schools. Continue reading

Helping Kids and Communities Be Healthy and Active

Playground handlebars

Across Massachusetts, communities are searching for ways to help residents live active and healthy lives.

The Massachusetts Joint Use Toolkit is a how-to guide for community members seeking to access public buildings and spaces afterhours so residents can exercise and engage in other recreational activities. This Toolkit helps communities maximize the use of schools, playgrounds, parks, libraries, and town halls, by offering children and their families a safe, familiar place to get fit. The Toolkit describes the process of sharing space from A to Z; it addresses location, funding, safety, and liability, and provides a Model Joint Use Agreement that communities can use to safely open unused spaces to the public.

More about the toolkit and joint use project.