Article

Effects of a classroom-based program on physical activity and on-task behavior

Activity Promotion Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC 27858, USA.
Medicine &amp Science in Sports &amp Exercise (Impact Factor: 4.46). 01/2007; 38(12):2086-94. DOI: 10.1249/01.mss.0000235359.16685.a3
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study evaluated the effects of a classroom-based physical activity program on children's in-school physical activity levels and on-task behavior during academic instruction.
Physical activity of 243 students was assessed during school hours. Intervention-group students (N = 135) received a classroom-based program (i.e., Energizers). The control group (N = 108) did not receive Energizers. On-task behavior during academic instruction time was observed for 62 third-grade (N = 37) and fourth-grade students (N = 25) before and after Energizers activities. An independent groups t-test compared in-school physical activity levels between intervention and control classes. A multiple-baseline across-classrooms design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the Energizers on on-task behavior. Additionally, a two-way (time [pre- vs postobservation] x period [baseline vs intervention]) repeated-measures analysis of variance compared on-task behavior between observation periods. Magnitudes of mean differences were evaluated with Cohen's delta (ES).
Students in the intervention group took significantly (P < 0.05) more in-school steps (5587 +/- 1633) than control-group students (4805 +/- 1543), and the size of this difference was moderate (ES = 0.49). The intervention was effective in improving on-task behavior; after the Energizers were systematically implemented, on-task behavior systematically improved. The improvement in on-task behavior of 8% between the pre-Energizers and post-Energizers observations was statistically significant (P < 0.017), and the difference was moderate (ES = 0.60). Likewise, the least on-task students improved on-task behavior by 20% after Energizers activities. This improvement was statistically significant (P < 0.001) and meaningful (ES = 2.20).
A classroom-based physical activity program was effective for increasing daily in-school physical activity and improving on-task behavior during academic instruction.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Matthew T Mahar, Aug 04, 2015
1 Follower
 · 
168 Views
  • Source
    • "The worldwide imbalance in the educational system in favor of sedentary learning at the expense of physical activity has implication not only for children's physical health (Malina, 2013), but also for their cognitive and brain health. The consistent evidence of a positive relationship between physical activity, aerobic fitness, cognitive and brain function and, consequently, academic performance (Kwak et al., 2009; Donnelly and Lambourne, 2011; Tomporowski et al., 2011) should motivate policy makers to develop opportunities for increasing physical activity in the classroom and across the school day (Mahar et al., 2006). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The association between a fit body and a fit brain in children has led to a rise of behavioral and neuroscientific research. Yet, the relation of cardiorespiratory fitness on premotor neurocognitive preparation and early visual processing have received little attention. Here, 41 healthy, lower- and higher-fit preadolescent children were administered a modified version of the Eriksen flanker task while electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures were recorded. Event-related potentials (ERPs) locked to the stimulus onset with an earlier than usual baseline (-900/-800 ms) allowed investigation of both the usual post-stimulus (i.e., the P1, N1 and P2) as well as the pre-stimulus ERPs components, such as the Bereitschaftspotential (BP) and the prefrontal negativity (pN component). At the behavioral level, aerobic fitness was associated response accuracy, with higher-fit children being more accurate than lower-fit children. Fitness-related differences selectively emerged at prefrontal brain regions during response preparation, with larger pN amplitude for higher- than lower-fit children, and at early perceptual stages after stimulus onset, with larger P1 and N1 amplitudes in higher- relative to lower-fit children. Collectively, the results suggest that the benefits of being aerobically fit appear at the stage of cognitive preparation prior to stimulus presentation and the behavioral response during the performance of a task that challenges cognitive control. Further, it is likely that enhanced activity in prefrontal brain areas may improve cognitive control of visuo-motor tasks, allowing for stronger proactive inhibition and larger early allocation of selective attention resources on relevant external stimuli. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
    Neuroscience 04/2015; 298. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.04.028 · 3.33 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Only a small number of studies have focused on the use and effects of classroom PA breaks, so additional research is warranted. SO, for example, could be used to examine the frequency of activity breaks and to assess classroom behavior such as levels of attentiveness and on-task behavior before and after recess breaks and/or in-class PA breaks (e.g., Mahar et al., 2006). In addition to these variables, it is particularly important to use SO on school campuses to assess student PA and how it is affected by state/district/school policies related to recess and classroom breaks. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Numerous methods are available to assess physical activity (PA) but systematic observation (SO) excels in being able to provide contextually rich data on the setting in which the activity occurs. As SO is particularly useful for determining how activity is influenced by the immediate physical and social environments, its use is becoming more popular. Observation tools have the advantages of flexibility, high internal validity, low inference, and low participant burden, while their disadvantages include the need for careful observer training and recalibration, inaccessibility to certain environments, and potential participant reactivity. There is a need for both scientists and practitioners to have additional information on observation techniques and systems relative to making environmental and policy decisions about PA, and in this article, we describe concepts and identify questions related to using SO in researching PA behavior. We present 10 general questions in 3 sections, including those related to: (a) ensuring data accuracy through the selection of the most appropriate methodological protocols; (b) investigating PA in school settings, including physical education, recess, and other programs; and (c) investigating PA in community settings (e.g., parks, recreation centers, youth and adult sport programs) and homes.
    Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport 03/2015; 86(1):13-29. DOI:10.1080/02701367.2015.991264
  • Source
    • "Eight studies used a controlled trial design (Donnelly et al., 2009; Erwin et al., 2011b; Graham et al., 2014; Helgeson, 2013; Liu et al., 2008; Mahar et al., 2006; Reed et al., 2010; Trost et al., 2008). Of these, five randomised individual classes to either intervention (physically active lessons) or control groups (Donnelly et al., 2009; Helgeson, 2013; Mahar et al., 2006; Reed et al., 2010; Trost et al., 2008). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Physically active lessons aim to increase children’s physical activity (PA) whilst maintaining academic time. This systematic review aimed to investigate the methods used in such interventions and their effects on PA and educational outcomes.
    Preventive Medicine 01/2015; 72. DOI:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.12.027 · 2.93 Impact Factor
Show more