In her talk, Tullie explains how "physical activity has been engineered out of our everyday lives" to become "the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality," killing more people than smoking. "Our children may have a shorter life expectancy than we do," she says.
Knowing there is scientific evidence showing that physical activity contributes to health and confidence and helps combat obesity, depression, and anxiety, she decided in 2009 to make a difference. She gathered parent volunteers and approached their local school principal and superintendent, asking for permission to run a before-school physical activity program. Initially, 80 kids signed up. Soon, Tullie was getting e-mails from parents and teachers about how excited kids were to go to school and how they were sleeping better and more focused in class.
Word of the program spread and other communities reached out for copies of their curriculum. She realized they needed a curriculum that allowed parents and teachers to be part of solution. Fast forward and BOKS is now in 2,230 schools, with hard evidence (like this 2014 NIOST study) of its success.
Tullie asserts that "It doesn't take somebody who is a superhero" to make a positive difference in kids' physical activity. Indeed, the idea of super athletes has helped create a "culture of spectators." We need to turn this into a "culture of participants," starting with our youth, says Tullie, explaining that we need to "give them the opportunities to move" and "revolutionize our kids' lives."
Watch her below.