Preschoolers' time on-task and physical activity during a classroom activity break

E. Kipling Webster, Danielle D. Wadsworth, Leah E. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the acute effects of a 10-min teacher-implemented classroom-based activity break (AB) on physical activity participation and time on-task in a preschool-age population. 118 (M age = 3.80 ± 0.69 years) students from one preschool served as participants. The intervention took place over 4 days: 2 days AB were conducted and 2 days typical instruction occurred. Physical activity was monitored via accelerometry and time on-task was measured by direct observation. Results demonstrated that AB led to a higher percent of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) during the AB (M = 29.7%, p < .001). Breaks also promoted more on-task behavior (F1,117 = 18.86, p < .001) following the AB. Specifically, the most off-task students before the break improved on-task behavior by 30 percentage points (p < .001). Percent of school day MVPA was also higher during AB days (t117 = 3.274, p = .001). Findings indicate teachers may improve time on-task postbreak for preschoolers with a short bout of physical activity in the classroom, especially in children who are the most off-task. In addition, classroom-based AB resulted in marginal increases in MVPA during breaks that influenced whole day activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Exercise Science
Volume27
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Accelerometer
  • Attention
  • Classroom-based
  • School-based exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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