Associations between Teacher Wellbeing and Social Support for Physical Activity in Two Urban School Districts during the early stages of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic


Active Living; Physical Activity
mental health
COVID-19 pandemic

How to Cite

Escaron, A., Vasquez, J., & Sonik, R. (2024). Associations between Teacher Wellbeing and Social Support for Physical Activity in Two Urban School Districts during the early stages of the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic. Journal of Healthy Eating and Active Living, 3(3), 134–145.


Given physical activity’s protective effects on mental health and the potential for school districts to support teachers in this area, we explore teacher wellbeing protective factors including social support for exercise. Specifically, we measured the association between social support for exercise and teacher wellbeing in racially and ethnically diverse urban school districts. Based on a prior partnership with 19 schools across 5 districts, we obtained approval from two districts to outreach to teachers (n=206) and invite them to complete the Teacher Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire and the Social Support and Exercise Survey during the 2020-2021 academic year. We applied linear regression models for continuous variables with teacher wellbeing as the dependent variable and social support as the independent variable adjusting for teacher- and school-level factors. Teachers (n=121) across eight K-8th grade schools completed the survey. The majority of teachers identified as female (77%) and non-White (84%). In the adjusted analysis (n = 104), there was a positive association between family social support for exercise and teacher wellbeing (β = 0.31; P Value < 0.05). Thus for every unit increase in family social support for exercise, a small 0.31 unit increase in teacher wellbeing was predicted. Additional research is needed to better understand this relationship in marginalized school districts as it may yield insights to be applied through multiple channels. District representatives have an opportunity to positively influence teacher wellbeing, an important component to supporting student success, building educational equity, and closing the achievement gap.


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Copyright (c) 2023 Anne Escaron, Jonathan Vasquez, Rajan Sonik