It’s startling to learn that thousands of school-age children in Washington state are not getting at least an hour of exercise five days a week. In fact, research shows that when American kids reach ages 10 and 11 their physical activity levels decline drastically. At Providence, we see this as a crucial time to intervene and help kids develop healthy habits.
Investing in health through fun
Physical activity helps kids build lifelong habits that can prevent serious health problems, such as obesity and diabetes. By teaming up with the North Thurston and Centralia School districts, Providence aims to help make kids healthier with Sqord activity-tracking wristbands designed to increase physical activity. Sqord is an activity tracker with online games and a kid-safe social media app designed to encourage kids to spend more time in active, physical play.
1,200 elementary and middle school students already have a Sqord device, with plans to distribute another 2,100 during the next two years – each device paid for by Providence for total community investment of $95,000. Healthy Youth Survey results show that a little more than half of local sixth graders are meeting the Washington State Department of Health’s exercise recommendations of 60 minutes daily at least five days in the past week.
Healthier communities – for every generation
This community collaboration helps Providence fulfill its vision of creating healthier communities. Providence is launching integrated health and wellness programs using Sqord in the communities it serves across Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. The ultimate goal is to ignite healthy habits and behaviors, connecting children everywhere to better health for life.