Systematic review of acute physically active learning and classroom movement breaks on children’s physical activity, cognition, academic performance and classroom behaviour: understanding critical design features

Andy J Daly-smith, Stephen Zwolinsky, Jim Mckenna, Phillip D Tomporowski, Margaret Anne Defeyter, Andrew Manley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Objective - To examine the impact of acute classroom movement break (CMB) and physically active learning (PAL) interventions on physical activity (PA), cognition, academic performance and classroom behaviour. Design - Systematic review. Data sources - PubMed, EBSCO, Academic Search Complete, Education Resources Information Center, PsycINFO, SPORTDiscus, SCOPUS and Web of Science. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies - Studies investigating school-based acute bouts of CMB or PAL on (PA), cognition, academic performance and classroom behaviour. The Downs and Black checklist assessed risk of bias. Results - Ten PAL and eight CMB studies were identified from 2929 potentially relevant articles. Risk of bias scores ranged from 33% to 64.3%. Variation in study designs drove specific, but differing, outcomes. Three studies assessed PA using objective measures. Interventions replaced sedentary time with either light PA or moderate-to-vigorous PA dependent on design characteristics (mode, duration and intensity). Only one study factored individual PA outcomes into analyses. Classroom behaviour improved after longer moderate-to-vigorous (>10 min), or shorter more intense (5 min), CMB/PAL bouts (9 out of 11 interventions). There was no support for enhanced cognition or academic performance due to limited repeated studies. Conclusion - Low-to-medium quality designs predominate in investigations of the acute impacts of CMB and PAL on PA, cognition, academic performance and classroom behaviour. Variable quality in experimental designs, outcome measures and intervention characteristics impact outcomes making conclusions problematic. CMB and PAL increased PA and enhanced time on task. To improve confidence in study outcomes, future investigations should combine examples of good practice observed in current studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere000341
JournalBMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2018

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