Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Jessica Meendering


physical activity, school environment, wellness policy


Purpose: To determine if there is a relationship between physical education/activity wellness policy comprehensiveness and strength and the observed physical activity (PA) environment.
Methods: The Wellness School Assessment Tool 2.0 (WellSAT 2.0) was used to evaluate the quality of written wellness policies. The School Physical Activity and Nutrition Environment Tool (SPAN-ET) was used to evaluate the school environment. Pairwise correlations and one-way ANOVAs were used to determine if written wellness policy quality affects the school PA environment. Data are presented as mean ± SD and significance was set at p ≤ 0.05.
Results: One significant relationship was found between WellSAT 2.0 PEPA comprehensiveness and SPAN-ET area of interest 7, which was Enclosures and Safety Features. There were no other relationships identified between the quality of wellness policies and the PA environments (n=3) and areas of interest (n=16). When comparing mean wellness policy scores among practice categories (poor, fair, good, and best practice) of the physical, situational, and policy environment, there was no difference.
Conclusion: There may be a communication disconnect in school wellness efforts between the district and school level. Schools have strong environments, but these environmental strengths are not being captured in their wellness policies.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Schools -- Health promotion services -- Evaluation.
School children -- Nutrition.
Physical fitness for children.
Obesity in children -- Prevention.
Health promotion.
Health education.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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