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


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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    ABSTRACT: Optimizing physical activity (PA) in children is paramount to attenuate the incidence of chronic disease and to improve social and cognitive health. Limited research exists examining the observed PA patterns during school leisure times in children from the U.S. The purpose of this study was to examine the observed PA patterns of children during three school leisure times: before school, during lunch, and after school. The SOPLAY instrument was used to observe PA during the three leisure times across six weeks at four elementary schools in the U.S. Observer PA counts were stratified by sex, PA intensity (sedentary, walking, and very active), and leisure time. Multi-level models were employed to examine the effect of leisure time and PA intensity on observer PA counts, adjusting for day and school level clustering. Lunch displayed the greatest number of counts for sedentary, walking, and very active PA intensities (p < 0.001). In boys, a greater number of observer counts in the very active PA intensity were recorded compared to the sedentary intensity before school (β = 10.34, p = 0.04) and during lunch (β = 15.57, p < 0.001). Girls did not display any differences among the PA intensities within before school and lunch leisure times (p > 0.05). After school displayed the fewest counts for walking and very active PA in both sexes (p < 0.05). An emphasis should be placed on increasing walking and very active PA intensities before school and during lunch in girls and after school in both sexes.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016
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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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    ABSTRACT: Optimizing physical activity in childhood is needed for prevention of disease and for healthy social and psychological development. There is limited research examining how segmented school physical activity patterns relate to a child achieving optimal physical activity levels. The purpose of this study was to examine the predictive relationship between step counts during specific school segments and achieving optimal school (6,000 steps/day) and daily (12,000 steps/day) step counts in children. Participants included 1,714 school-aged children (mean age = 9.7±1.0 years) recruited across six elementary schools. Physical activity was monitored for one week using pedometers. Generalized linear mixed effects models were used to determine the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) of achieving both school and daily step count standards for every 1,000 steps taken during each school segment. The school segment that related in strongest way to a student achieving 6,000 steps during school hours was afternoon recess (OR = 40.03; P <0.001) and for achieving 12,000 steps for the entire day was lunch recess (OR = 5.03; P < 0.001). School segments including lunch and afternoon recess play an important role for optimizing daily physical activity in children.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015
    • "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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    ABSTRACT: This study evaluates the effects of a behaviour change intervention, which encourages the integration of physical activity into the teaching of academic lessons, on physical activity levels of students. The main outcome is mean minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) daily generated during the intervention lessons. Teacher's perceptions and students' enjoyment of the programme were also evaluated. Students accumulated a mean of 8 min MVPA during the intervention lessons daily. The teacher and students were very satisfied with the programme. Therefore, changing teacher behaviour towards using physically active teaching methods is a promising way of increasing children's physical activity levels.
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