Improving Academic Performance of School-Age Children by Physical Activity in the Classroom: 1-Year Program Evaluation

Marijke J. Mullender-Wijnsma*, Esther Hartman, Johannes W. de Greeff, Roel J. Bosker, Simone Doolaard, Chris Visscher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUNDAn intervention was designed that combined physical activity with learning activities. It was based upon evidence for positive effects of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) on academic achievement. The aim of this study was to describe the program implementation and effects on academic achievement after 1year.

METHODSSecond- and third-grade classes of 6 elementary schools were included in the study. The intervention group participated in physically active academic lessons and the control group in regular classroom lessons. Implementation measures were obtained and the children were pretested and posttested on mathematics and reading.

RESULTSTeacher observations and self-reports indicated that the lessons were implemented as planned. Classroom observations showed that children's on-task behavior during the lessons was above 70%. On the basis of heart rate measures, on average 64% of the lesson time was spent in MVPA. Posttest mathematics and reading scores of third-grade children who participated in the intervention were significantly higher in comparison with control children. Posttest mathematics scores of second-grade children in the intervention condition were significantly lower in comparison with control children.

CONCLUSIONSThe intervention program was successfully implemented and the lessons contributed to the academic outcomes of third-grade children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-371
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of School Health
Volume85
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun-2015

Keywords

  • academic achievement
  • physical activity
  • program evaluation
  • school-age children
  • PREADOLESCENT CHILDREN
  • ENERGY-EXPENDITURE
  • EXERCISE
  • ACHIEVEMENT
  • BEHAVIOR
  • BRAIN
  • TASK
  • INTERVENTION
  • OVERWEIGHT
  • AGREEMENT

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