A classroom-based physical activity intervention for adolescents: Is there an effect on self-efficacy, physical activity, and on-task behavior?

Colleen Cornelius, Alicia Fedewa, Michael Toland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


background Classroom-based physical activity is a newly explored avenue for providing physical activity opportunities to children within the school, but it is one that is showing academic gains in areas such as on-task behavior. The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of pedal desks placed in high school classrooms. Three main objectives were examined: 1) the possible increase in physical activity self-efficacy among high school students in the classroom, 2) the effectiveness of pedal desks on increased physical activity among high school students, and 3) the impact of pedal desks on increasing classroom on-task behavior. participants and procedure Participants included 114 high school students in a traditional high school setting. All of the students were enrolled in two Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) teachers' classrooms. The design was quasi-experimental. Two teachers and their respective classes were randomly assigned to a treatment or control group. The study included a baseline and 2 waves. Researchers gathered demographic information of students, as well as pre- and post-data on self-efficacy and physical activity participation. On-task behavior of students was also recorded daily by researchers via momentary time sampling. results The results indicated significance for self-efficacy confidence but not barriers to physical activity participation. When examining whether self-efficacy could be connected to student heart rate, no significance was found. However, treatment students did improve their mean heart rates from baseline to treatment. This increase was significantly greater when compared to the control group. conclusions This study indicates that pedal desks may be one means for feasibly increasing light physical activity during the school day. This study suggests that self-efficacy for exercise can be increased and that light intensity physical activity levels may be raised through placing pedal desks in a high school classroom. Limitations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-427
Number of pages20
JournalHealth Psychology Report
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 10 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Organizatsionnaya Psikhologiya. All rights reserved.


  • Academics
  • Adolescents
  • Exercise
  • On-task behavior
  • Self-efficacy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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