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J Sci Med Sport. 2015 Nov;18(6):656-61. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2014.09.005. Epub 2014 Sep 21.

Outcomes and process evaluation of a programme integrating physical activity into the primary school mathematics curriculum: The EASY Minds pilot randomised controlled trial.

Author information

1
Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia; Faculty of Education & Arts, University of Newcastle, Australia. Electronic address: Nicholas.Riley@newcastle.edu.au.
2
Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia; Faculty of Education & Arts, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

This study evaluated the feasibility of the 'Encouraging Activity to Stimulate Young (EASY) Minds' programme, a school-based intervention for integrating physical activity (PA) into mathematics lessons.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled trial.

METHODS:

Two classes from a single school (n = 54) were randomised to receive either the 6-week EASY Minds intervention (n = 27) or follow their usual school programme (n = 27). The intervention involved the embedding of PA across the pre-existing mathematics programme for 3 × 60 min sessions per week. Changes in PA were measured using accelerometers and 'on task' behaviour was measured using momentary time sampling observation.

RESULTS:

Using intention-to-treat analysis, significant intervention effects were found for MVPA (9.7%, 95%CI = 7.6, 11.8, p ≤ 0.001) and sedentary time (-22.4%, CI = -24.9, -12.2, p ≤ 0.001) for the intervention group during Mathematics lessons (9.30 am-10.30 am). Significant intervention effects were also shown for MVPA 8.7% (95% CI = 5.8, 11.6, p ≤ 0.001 and sedentary time -18.6% (95% CI = -24.9, -12.2, p ≤ 0.001) across the whole school day. Furthermore, children displayed significantly greater 'on-task' behaviour across the intervention period with a 19.9% (95%CI = 2.4, 37.4, p ≤ 0.03) mean difference between groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

The EASY Minds programme demonstrated that integrating movement across the primary mathematics syllabus is feasible and efficacious in enhancing school based-PA and improving on-task behaviour in mathematics lessons.

KEYWORDS:

Integration; Mathematics; On task behaviour; Physical activity; Primary school

PMID:
25304445
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsams.2014.09.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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