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 & Science in Sports & Exercise (Impact Factor: 3.98). 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.

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    • "PA before school is important as it will not only increase daily PA levels and energize students for the day ahead, but also research has shown that MVPA has an acute psychological effect by moderating arousal that can optimize focus and memory retention needed for learning in the classroom (Budde, Voelcker-Rehage, Pietrabyk-Kendziorra, Ribeiro, &amp; Tidow, 2008;McNaughten, &amp; Gabbard, 1993;Molloy, 1989)). Additionally, many students who display significant levels of off-task behavior in the classroom due to hyperactivity may find improvement in increasing their on-task behaviors with optimal levels of MVPA before school hours (Mahar et al., 2006). Previous research has identified effective strategies to increase PA before school. "
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    • "Most students have access to at least one recess per school day, but recess times have been cut in some school districts in the USA in favor for academic classes [11]. Classroom activity breaks can also increase physical activity in children [12]. Classroom breaks such as Energizers or implementation of programs such as TAKE 10! have shown to be significantly effective in increasing daily physical activity [13]. "
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    • "The researchers also found that incorporating movement in lessons can simultaneously contribute to children's academic performance (Erwin, Beighle, et al., 2011; Erwin, Abel, et al., 2011). In these previous studies the implementation of physically active academic lessons contributed to significant improvements in time students spent engaged in academic learning and in 'on-task' behaviours (Grieco, Jowers, & Bartholomew, 2009; Mahar et al., 2006; Riley, Lubans, Morgan, & Young, 2014). Despite this evidence, few teachers use physically active teaching methods (Morgan & Hansen, 2008). "
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