What is the Certified Healthy School Program?

The Certified Healthy School Program was started in 2010 by a health champion in the Oklahoma legislature. The program is administered by the Oklahoma Turning Point Council and the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Center for the Advancement of Wellness. Certified Healthy School is a free statewide annual certification dedicated to recognizing school sites that are working to improve student and employee health by providing wellness opportunities and implementing policies that lead to healthier lifestyles.

Why Does Certified Healthy Matter?

Becoming a Certified Healthy School means you are providing a healthy environment for students and employees, along with supporting an overall healthier Oklahoma. By meeting most or all of the criteria to become Certified Healthy, Schools provide an established environment to foster behavior modification among students and employees, in addition to policy adoption and implementation. By creating a healthy school environment for students, schools can not only improve academic performance, but also help support lifelong healthy habits. By providing a school environment rooted in evidence-based health and wellness principles aligning with the Coordinate School Health model, you are contributing to future generations of thriving, productive adults.

The State of Health in Oklahoma Students

Many children and youth spend seven to eight hours a day in a public school setting. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), students’ health can affect academic behavior, academic achievement, and grades. (Healthy Youth, 2013)

  • Health-related factors, such as hunger, chronic illness, or physical and emotional abuse, can lead to poor school performance.
  • Health-risk behaviors such as substance use, violence, and physical inactivity are consistently linked to poor grades, decreased school attendance, lower test scores, and an inability to pay attention in class.
  • More than 8 out of 10 high school students eat too few vegetables and fruits.(YRBSS, 2013)
  • More than 1 in 8 high school students did not get enough physical activity per day and almost 1 in 3 watched more than 3 hours of TV per day. (YRBSS, 2013)
  • More than 1 in 10 high school students smoked cigarettes and 1 in 20 used smokeless tobacco in the past 30 days. (YTS, 2013)

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Youth, 2013 http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/

Youth Risk Behavior Survey, Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2013 http://www.ok.gov/health/pub/wrapper/ok2share.html

Oklahoma Youth Tobacco Survey, Oklahoma State Department of Health, 2013