Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/30937
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: A citizen science study of short physical activity breaks at school: improvements in cognition and wellbeing with self-paced activity
Author(s): Booth, Josephine N
Chesham, Ross A
Brooks, Naomi E
Gorely, Trish
Moran, Colin N
Keywords: Acute physical activity
Cognition
Children
Issue Date: 2020
Citation: Booth JN, Chesham RA, Brooks NE, Gorely T & Moran CN (2020) A citizen science study of short physical activity breaks at school: improvements in cognition and wellbeing with self-paced activity. BMC Medicine, 18 (1), Art. No.: 62. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-01539-4
Abstract: Background School-based physical activity and running programmes, such as The Daily Mile™, are increasing in popularity globally. The aim of this research was to examine the acute impact of such classroom physical activity breaks on cognition and affective wellbeing. Methods A total of 5463 school pupils from 332 schools took part in a citizen science project with a repeated measures design. They completed tasks of cognition (inhibition, verbal, and visuo-spatial working memory) and the Children’s Feeling Scale and Felt Arousal Scale before and after three different outdoor activities: a classroom break of 15 min of self-paced activity, a near maximal exhaustion activity (the bleep test), and a no-exercise control group where pupils sat or stood outside. Wellbeing and fitness were examined as mediators of the relationship between outdoor activity and cognition. Results Fifteen minutes of self-paced outdoor activity was beneficial for pupils’ cognition and wellbeing in comparison to both other activities (Cohen’s d effect sizes ranging from 0.04 to 0.22; small). The relationship with cognition was not mediated by participants’ fitness level and was only partially mediated by wellbeing. Change scores for alertness were higher after the bleep test compared to the control activity but similar for all other outcomes. Conclusions Taking a break from the classroom to complete 15 min of self-paced physical activity should be considered a worthwhile activity by class teachers, school management, and policymakers. Additionally, more intense physical activity should not be considered to be detrimental.
DOI Link: 10.1186/s12916-020-01539-4
Rights: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Licence URL(s): http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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