The walking classroom: Measuring the impact of physical activity on student cognitive performance and mood

Erianne A. Weight, Molly Harry, Heather Erwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The Walking Classroom is an education program that provides students with an opportunity to accumulate physical activity without losing instructional time. Method: This research tests Kuczala’s application of kinesthetic learning theory through measuring knowledge retention, postactivity information processing, and mood in students who engage in a short bout of physical activity while listening to Walking Classroom podcasts about language arts, science, and history, and those who remain seated during a podcast, compared with baseline levels. Students from 9 high-poverty fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms (n = 319) in a North Carolina county comprised the sample. Results: Utilizing multivariate analysis of covariance, the results demonstrate significantly higher levels of learning while walking compared with learning while sitting. Measures of mood utilizing the 10-item version of the Positive and Negative Affect Scale also demonstrated a significant effect in predicted directions. Conclusion: The results support that coupling physical activity with instruction leads to increased performance and mood for elementary school students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818-825
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Volume18
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Keywords

  • Elementary school
  • Learning
  • Student behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Epidemiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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