Background: The increasing need to face the problem of sedentarism, especially in the COVID-19 era, induced teachers and researchers to find new intervention methodologies in school context. Active breaks (ABs) include brief periods of physical activity as a part of the curriculum. This study aimed to investigate the AB acute responses on attentive skills and mathematical performance and attention in a primary school. Methods: A total of 141 children (aged 9.61 +/- 0.82), divided into six classes, participated in this study. Each class was randomly assigned to three groups on the basis of the type of protocol performed during the three ABs scheduled in a school day: fitness (FIT), creativity (CREAT), and control group (CON). At baseline and at the end of interventions, all participants underwent the Stroop Color and Word test (SCWT) and the math test (MATH) to assess the level of attention and mathematical performance, respectively. The degree of enjoyment was evaluated through the modified Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale. Results: The factorial ANOVA showed significant differences between the FIT and CON in MATH test (p = 0.023) and SCWT (p = 0.034). CREAT and FIT groups showed higher degree of enjoyment than the CON (both ps < 0.001). Conclusions: This study showed a positive acute impact of AB interventions. FIT positively influenced attentive and math performances more than the CREAT, probably due to the correct work/rest ratio and executive rhythm that allowed children to reach a good level of exertion. This report showed that ABs can be a useful and productive activity to be performed between curricular lessons.

Impact of Active Breaks in the Classroom on Mathematical Performance and Attention in Elementary School Children

Grazioli, Elisa;Quinzi, Federico;
2021-01-01

Abstract

Background: The increasing need to face the problem of sedentarism, especially in the COVID-19 era, induced teachers and researchers to find new intervention methodologies in school context. Active breaks (ABs) include brief periods of physical activity as a part of the curriculum. This study aimed to investigate the AB acute responses on attentive skills and mathematical performance and attention in a primary school. Methods: A total of 141 children (aged 9.61 +/- 0.82), divided into six classes, participated in this study. Each class was randomly assigned to three groups on the basis of the type of protocol performed during the three ABs scheduled in a school day: fitness (FIT), creativity (CREAT), and control group (CON). At baseline and at the end of interventions, all participants underwent the Stroop Color and Word test (SCWT) and the math test (MATH) to assess the level of attention and mathematical performance, respectively. The degree of enjoyment was evaluated through the modified Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale. Results: The factorial ANOVA showed significant differences between the FIT and CON in MATH test (p = 0.023) and SCWT (p = 0.034). CREAT and FIT groups showed higher degree of enjoyment than the CON (both ps < 0.001). Conclusions: This study showed a positive acute impact of AB interventions. FIT positively influenced attentive and math performances more than the CREAT, probably due to the correct work/rest ratio and executive rhythm that allowed children to reach a good level of exertion. This report showed that ABs can be a useful and productive activity to be performed between curricular lessons.
2021
academic achievement
children
physical activity
school time
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/81212
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