A model of interdisciplinary collaboration

The CATs on the Move projects unite the departments of Psychological Science, Exercise Science, and Education to provide school-based physical activity programs aimed toward increasing the amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity that children experience in their daily lives.

Physical activity is an important health behavior that is linked with positive adjustment for children in the social, behavioral, and academic domains. Although there is widespread recognition of the benefits associated with physical activity, awareness of these benefits has not in itself been sufficient in ensuring children participate in recommended amounts of physical activity. Our CATs on the Move programs offer fun, engaging, and sustainable approaches to incorporating physical activity into the lives of children. To view a video about the Kiddie CATs on the Move program, click here. Also, learn more about how to get involved in our programs yourself!

The science behind our program

Studies examining the association between children’s physical activity and adjustment suggest that higher levels of physical activity are associated with more positive adjustment for children, such as lower levels of depression and anxiety and higher levels of self-esteem (Ahn & Fedwea, 2011). In addition, our findings suggest that participation in a before-school, aerobic physical activity program was linked with decreases in teacher-rated problem behaviors (Smith et al., 2013) and improvements in attention, mood, and peer functioning (Hoza et al., 2015). However, in light of evidence suggesting that children are living a more sedentary lifestyle (Owen et al., 2010), the need for effective, innovative, and school-based programs to promote physical activity, and in turn, positive adjustment for children is essential.