“Happy, Healthy, and Smart”: Student Responses to the Walking Classroom Education Program Aimed to Enhance Physical Activity

Heather Erwin, Erianne Weight, Molly Harry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Over 1 in 3 children in US schools is overweight or obese; thus, most teachers believe physical education and activity are necessary K-12 components. One potential avenue to infuse physical activity (PA) in educational settings is integrating in classrooms based on learning objectives and academic outcomes. In this study, we examined student emotion through the use of the Walking Classroom (WC) learning platform. METHODS: Students from 9 fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms (N = 100) in 1 North Carolina county participated in 10 separate focus groups related to their engagement in an active education program. Discussions centered on how engaging in a short bout of PA during a WC podcast impacted students' overall educational experience. Data analysis included open in vivo manual coding methods resulting in major themes and visual word-clouds. RESULTS: Students reported feeling happy, healthy, educated, smart, and excited while walking and learning. Afterwards, students discussed feeling strong, relaxed, energized, happy, and alert. On days students were not able to do a walk, they reported feeling mad, bored, sad, sleepy, and tired. CONCLUSION: Offering active learning appears to result in students feeling happier, healthier, and smarter.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-203
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume91
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, American School Health Association

Keywords

  • academic performance
  • child emotions
  • child health
  • elementary school
  • physical activity
  • the walking classroom

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '“Happy, Healthy, and Smart”: Student Responses to the Walking Classroom Education Program Aimed to Enhance Physical Activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this