Date of Award


Degree Type

Evidence-Based Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Amy C. Cory


In 2011, the CDC reported that there are 12.5 million obese children and adolescents living in the United States (U.S.). The financial burden of childhood obesity in the U.S. is estimated to be 14 billion dollars. The objective of this evidence-based practice (EBP) project was to answer the question: In school-aged children, how does school-based, structured, family-oriented physical activity education affect body mass index (BMI) compared to usual education over an eight week time period? The Stetler Model of EBP and the health belief model were used to guide this project in a rural, Northwest Indiana elementary school. For eight weeks, fourth and fifth grade students received an additional 30 minutes of classroom education per week about the importance of physical activity and suggestions for increasing daily physical activity using the
“Wellness, Academics, and You” (WAY) program as well as other evidence-based materials. Students also participated in brief exercises led by the project facilitator in the classroom each week. Pre- and post-intervention BMIs were measured and compared. BMI data were analyzed using paired t-tests. Although no statistically significant differences in BMI were found (p=0.936), 18.02% (n=20) students lost more than one pound over the eight-week intervention period and 8.12% (n=9) students lost four pounds or more. Future projects with similar objectives to this EBP project may benefit from a longer intervention period.