Students at the Highland Park Boys & Girls Club are discovering it is “Fun to be Fit.” As part of their work with Leadership Chattanooga, Dr. Dee Dee Anderson, associate vice chancellor of student development, and Dr. Mike Owens, assistant dean of graduate programs in the College of Business, developed the Fun to be Fit pilot program, designed to encourage physical activity among Boys & Girls Club members.
“The purpose of Fun to be Fit is to address the growing crisis of obesity and lack of exercise in children, especially those in urban neighborhoods, in a fun and motivating way,” said Anderson.
In partnership with three seniors in the Health and Human Performance department, they developed a six-week, sustainable fitness curriculum for B&GC members ages 6-13. The curriculum is divided into a series of 30 minutes workouts that can be led by the B&GC club peer leaders.
“We want to increase B&GC members’ awareness of the importance of exercise to improving their health and produce a sustainable fitness curriculum that they can continue to implement,” said Anderson.
Rebecca Amonett, a senior exercise science major, designed activities for 6-9 year old children.
“My intention was to use basic activities that the children were familiar with, but to add a new twist to make the activity more exciting. It was nice to see the enthusiasm on the children’s faces,” said Amonett.
The workouts are led by B&GC members designated as peer leaders four times a week for all B&GC members who would like to participate. “Fun to be Fit” could be expanded to other Boys & Girls Clubs.
“We wanted to show the kids that living an active lifestyle is something they can incorporate into what they do every day. It’s not just running laps or doing pushups; playing fun games means you’re being active,” said Amanda Hamilton, senior exercise science major.