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MT6: Physical Activity and Reduced Sedentary Behavior Supports

Framework Component

Changes - Adoption and promotion of physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior supports in sites and organizations

Indicator Description

Sites and organizations that adopt PSE changes and complementary promotion that expand access and promote physical activity and reduced time spent being sedentary; associated potential audience reached.

Background and Context

Adoption takes place when sites or organizations make at least one change in policy or practice to expand access or improve the appeal of sites where people can engage in physical activity. These may include, but are not limited to, those in the SNAP-Ed Library on SNAP-Ed Connection.

Measuring PSE adoption goes hand-in-hand with estimating reach. Reach is often based on estimation when actual counts are unavailable, considering the population that is potentially exposed to the intervention (UNC, 2013). Evaluators should also consider ways to maximize measures of reach by monitoring a policy or environmental change that can spread across sites or an entire organization. For instance, the reach of a local school wellness policy will be greater when the policy is adopted district-wide rather than one school at a time. We calculate total reach to demonstrate the broader exposure on the entire organization.

Many estimates of reach require accessing partner data, such as enrollment at child care facilities, if these data are not known or publicly available. Often data-sharing agreements across public and private sectors are necessary and may require letters of agreement. Institutional Review Board (IRB) other levels of approval that may be necessary.

Outcome Measures


Takes place when SNAP-Ed sites or organizations put into effect an evidence-based PSE change, such as those included in the SNAP-Ed Library on SNAP-Ed Connection.

  • MT6a. Number and proportion of sites or organizations that make at least one change in writing or practice to expand access or improve appeal for physical activity or reduced sedentary behavior
  • MT6b. Total number of policy changes
  • MT6c. Total number of systems changes
  • MT6d. Total number of environmental changes
  • MT6e. Total number of promotional efforts for a PSE change

What to Measure


The documentation of change(s) adopted in the SNAP-Ed qualified site or organization. Documentation (direct observation, photographic evidence, repeated self-assessments or surveys) or interviews with key informants to confirm the uptake of the PSE change in the site or organization. Physical activity-related changes can include one or more of the following PSE changes, often including policies, practices, and programs that make physical activity more convenient and desirable. The following list is not exhaustive; other evidence-based or practice-based changes may arise.

  • Policy
    • A. Improvements in hours of operation of recreation facilities
    • B. New or increased use of school facilities during non-school hours for recreation, or shared use policies
    • C. New or stronger limits on entertainment screen time (in accordance with American Academy of Pediatrics)
    • D. Increase in school days/time spent in physical education
    • E. Improvements in time spent in daily recess
    • F. Workplace access to physical activity facilities at reduced or no cost
  • Systems
    • G. Let's Move! Active Schools
    • H. Incorporating physical activity into the school day or during classroom-based instruction
    • I. New or improved access to structured physical activity programs
  • Environmental
    • J. Improvements in access to safe walking or bicycling paths, or Safe Routes to School or work
    • K. Addition of bike racks
    • L. Improvements in access to or appeal of stairwells
    • M. Improvements in access to exercise or recreation facilities
  • Promotion (Marketing)
    • N. Signage and prompts for use of walking and bicycling paths
    • O. New and improved stairwell prompts
    • P. Increased awareness of the PSE change by the target audience

It is important to document each change that occurs within a site. One change alone may not have enough magnitude to produce an impact. Thus, evaluators can document multiple changes that occur (e.g., signage, structured physical activity opportunities). Measuring adoption may be labor-intensive; thus, it can be appropriate to choose a sample of sites for evaluation purposes (see Appendix C for details on sampling).

Measuring Reach

Reporting Reach Characteristics

When aggregating reach of PSE changes across sites and organizations, you are encouraged, but not required to describe the characteristics of persons potentially reached. Because PSE activities are to be adopted only in qualifying SNAP-Ed eligible sites, we assume the majority of persons exposed to the change are low-income. However, reporting reach information by race/ethnicity, gender, languages spoken, household income levels, eligibility for free and reduced priced meals, ZIP codes, or other factors will be important to address stakeholders’ concerns and questions. Reporting reach data by different socioeconomic, race, and Latino/Hispanic origin may explain to what extent PSE changes have the potential to benefit disparate populations.


Persons in sites or organizations

Surveys and Data Collection Tools

See ST5 for a listing of the environmental and policy assessment tools.

Additional Resources or Supporting Citations

SHAPE America's National Physical Education Standards:

American Academy of Pediatrics - Media and Children:

National Center for Safe Routes to School: