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Effect of an Elementary School Walking Program on Physical Activity and Classroom Behavior

Jill W. Lassiter, Amanda L. Campbell


This study examined the effect of a physical activity program on student activity during recess and on disruptive classroom behavior. The program was implemented during recess for 5 weeks in a rural elementary school.  Prior to and during the program, teachers recorded observations of sedentary students during recess and of disruptive classroom behavior before and after recess. The number of sedentary students during recess decreased significantly during the program (p < .05) and classroom behavior significantly improved after recess (p < .001), differences that were not seen prior to the start of the program. Physical activity initiatives can improve student participation in physical activity during recess while costing little and maintaining student choice.  Increased physical activity during recess improves children’s ability to meet daily activity recommendations and may improve the classroom environment by decreasing disruptive behaviors. 

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recess; classroom behavior; physical activity

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