Balanced Energy Physical Activity Toolkit (BEPA-Toolkit)

Oregon State University Extension


The Balanced Energy Physical Activity Toolkit (BEPA-Toolkit) is a direct education intervention with added PSE components designed to integrate PA and nutrition concepts through education and activity in K-6th grade school classrooms. Nutrition concepts are linked to PA concepts and active games through an approach that explains the concept of balanced energy as a combination of healthful eating and regular, varied PA. The BEPA-Toolkit provides educators with materials and activity ideas that can be used in and outside of the classroom and before, during, or after school to increase children’s physical activity time at school. The Toolkit has been adapted to align with a PSE approach, which includes teacher trainings, wellness policy supports, and resourcing schools or classrooms with BEPA-Toolkits.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: Direct Education, PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

The BEPA-Toolkit targets elementary-aged children in the school environment. It has been implemented in both rural and urban counties, with low-income students, and with Latina/o students in Oregon.

Setting: School

Age: Elementary School

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

The BEPA-Toolkit includes training, provision of the BEPA-Toolkits and technical assistance, partnership development, wellness committee activities, and PSE change. The Toolkit can be used with any age-appropriate nutrition curriculum to increase and integrate PA into existing lesson plans; it includes a user manual, activity cards with curricular content, and a set of portable play times. The PSE components of the Toolkit include increasing training to and capacity for teachers to implement PA breaks in the classroom and increasing the number of school partners who adopt the BEPA-Toolkit and implement PA policy changes that influence child PA behaviors.

Intervention Materials

Evidence Summary

The developers conducted cognitive testing within their SNAP-Ed program, process evaluation on early versions of the Toolkit, and just completed phase one (cross‐sectional) of a quasi‐experimental evaluation of the Toolkit.

The intervention developers have a manuscript under review, Evaluation of an Extension Delivered Resource to Accelerate Progress in Childhood Obesity Prevention: The BEPA-Toolkit.  Findings from that study include:

  • In winter 2013, six schools received BEPA-Toolkits. Three schools received one per grade, and three schools received one in every classroom, plus training.
  • We evaluated teachers’ (N=62) use of and access to the BEPA‐Toolkit, and the association of BEPA‐Toolkit use (exposure) to child (N=1197) objectively measured PA behaviors.
  • Nearly 70% of teachers with a Toolkit in the classroom used it, whereas only 25% of those who had access, but not in the classroom, used it.
  • Over 80% of surveyed teachers reported the Toolkit provided additional opportunities for PA, and children exposed to the Toolkit were more active at school than children not exposed to the Toolkit (p<0.05).

Classification: Practice-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Short Term (ST) Medium Term (MT) Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Individual ST1, ST3 MT3
Environmental Settings ST7 MT6 LT6
Sectors of Influence MT9


Evaluation Materials

The Oregon SNAP-Ed program has adopted the BEPA-Toolkit and is assisting with ongoing process evaluation. Currently, no evaluation tools or materials are available.

Additional Information

Website: The BEPA-Toolkit website ( includes sample activity cards, the BEPA-Toolkit User Guide, video tutorials, and a promotional poster (customizable for a school).

Contact Person(s):
Kathy Gunter (Associate Professor and Extension Specialist)
Oregon State University
Phone: (541) 737-3624