Send to

Choose Destination
Res Q Exerc Sport. 2017 Jun;88(2):149-168. doi: 10.1080/02701367.2017.1294244. Epub 2017 Mar 22.

Effect of Active Lessons on Physical Activity, Academic, and Health Outcomes: A Systematic Review.

Author information

a University of Limerick.



The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of classroom-based physical activity interventions that integrate academic content and assess the effectiveness of the interventions on physical activity, learning, facilitators of learning, and health outcomes.


Six electronic databases (ERIC, PubMed, Google Scholar, Science Direct, Cochrane Library, and EMBASE) and reference lists were searched for English-language articles, published January 1990 through March 2015, reporting classroom-based interventions that deliberately taught academic content using physically active teaching methods for at least 1 week duration, with physical activity, health, learning, or facilitators-of-learning outcomes. Two authors reviewed full-text articles. Data were extracted onto an Excel spreadsheet, and authors were contacted to confirm accuracy of the information presented.


Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Six studies reporting on physical activity levels were found to have medium-to-large effect sizes. All 4 studies reporting learning outcomes showed positive effects of intervention lessons. Teachers and students were pleased with the programs, and enhanced on-task behavior was identified (n = 3). Positive effects were also reported on students' body mass index levels (n = 3).


Physically active academic lessons increase physical activity levels and may benefit learning and health outcomes. Both students and teachers positively received and enjoyed these teaching methods. These findings emphasize the need for such interventions to contribute toward public health policy.


Classroom; academic content; movement integration

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center