Document Type

Honors Thesis




Kelley Strout

Committee Members

Jennifer Bonnet, Margaret Killinger, Jennifer McNulty, Kathryn Robinson

Graduation Year

December 2022

Publication Date

Fall 12-2021


Childhood obesity is a serious public health issue in the United States. Many children fail to meet the recommended daily physical activity of 60 minutes. Poor metabolic health at a young age puts children and adolescents at a significantly higher risk of developing chronic health issues in adulthood. With the potential to further exacerbate the obesity epidemic, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic challenged students’ abilities to participate in structured physical activity, such as recess and physical education, due to school closures, strict social distancing guidelines, and hybrid or remote models of learning. This lack of structure and opportunities for physical activity warrants further investigation into how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted physical activity opportunities for school-aged children in the United States. The purpose of this qualitative secondary analysis was to determine how the pandemic shaped physical activity implementation strategies. The sample included 360 schools who participated in the Let’s Go! Program, a nationally recognized obesity prevention program serving Maine and Mount Washington Valley, New Hampshire. Results indicate that staff demonstrated their commitment to students’ welfare and education during the 2020-2021 school year by not only attempting to maintain normalcy under strict Covid-19 guidelines, but also creating innovative opportunities for students to participate in physical activity and demonstrating optimism in the face of adversity.