Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Promising Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Obesity, Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior
Target Audience 

This program is for children in late elementary school.


Switch-Play, a school-based program, is designed to encourage children to avoid extra weight gain and adopt a healthy lifestyle by increasing their physical activity levels and diminishing computer and screen time.  


Results from a randomized controlled trial conducted by program developers in Australia demonstrated that when the behavioral modification (BM) and fundamental movement skills (FMS) components were implemented together, participants in this group experienced a significant impact on body mass index from baseline to post-intervention, and this impact was maintained at the 6- and 12-month follow-ups.  In addition, those in the combined BM/FMS group were more than 60% less likely to be overweight or obese between baseline and post intervention and over all follow-up time points.


The Switch-Play program consists of two main components.  

  • BM, which can be implemented during regular class time, explores the health benefits of physical activity; encourages children to use self-monitoring to increase awareness of time spent in physical activity and screen behaviors; helps youth practice decision-making skills to identify alternatives to screen behaviors; and asks participants to complete a contract in which they agree to skip one TV program per week.
  • FMS, which is often taught in addition to regular physical education classes, provides opportunities for students to learn and practice basic physical skills, such as running, kicking, jumping, throwing, striking, and dodging.
Previous Use 

Previous use information was not available.


Information on training was not available.


Considerations for implementing this program include acquiring buy-in from administration, teachers, and staff; making time in the current curriculum for program lessons; and locating indoor and/or outdoor space to hold FMS lessons.  

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu


If you are interested in implementing Switch-Play, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!
Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu


There are 19 weekly FMS and BM lessons that last 40 to 50 minutes each.


Implementation costs were unavailable.

Evaluation Plan 

To move Switch-Play to the Effective category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence at least one external evaluation must be conducted in a diverse sample that demonstrates sustained, positive outcomes.  This study must be conducted independently of the program developer.  

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals.  Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu


Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program.
Phone: 1-877-382-9185 Email: Clearinghouse@psu.edu

You may also contact Jo Salmon by mail Center for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria 3125, Australia or email jsalmon@deakin.edu.au  


www.childtrends.org/?programs=switch-play and Salmon, Ball, Hume, Booth, and Crawford (2008).

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.