From the Editor-in-Chief . . .
In 2010 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
issued a report that indicated classroom physical activity can increase total
physical activity accumulated by children without adversely affecting academic
achievement (1). However, potential positive effects of physical activity in
the classroom on learning and academic achievement are not always apparent.
Available studies show improvements, no change, and rarely, negative effects.
Interpretation is further complicated by varying effects on different subjects
(e.g., math, reading) and between boys and girls.
An additional potential influence of classroom physical
activity is the effect on attention or “time-on-task” (TOT) for academic
lessons. Given it is generally accepted that learning is enhanced when students
are focused on the lessons provided, it is important to consider the effect of
classroom physical activity for TOT as teachers worry that subsequent to a bout
of physical activity students might be more difficult to control and will not
Both issues are important for the adoption of classroom
physical activity as teachers and administration will not accept such programs
if they appear to interfere with learning or classroom management. Szabo and
colleagues present information on both topics from a recently funded, 3-year
NIH trial involving children initially in grades 2 and 3 followed to grades 4
and 5 in 17 elementary schools. This information will be important for policy
considerations regarding the promotion of physical activity in the classroom.
The Translational Journal of The American College of Sports
Medicine welcomes manuscripts that have physical activity and policy
implications for individuals and large communities such as schools.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Association
Between School-Based Physical Activity, Including Physical Education, and
Academic Performance. Atlanta (GA):US Department of Health and Human Services:
Joseph E. Donnelly, EdD, FACSM