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Promoting Physical Activity Breaks in Clairton City School District Sixth Grade Classrooms

Weatherspoon, Britnee (2020) Promoting Physical Activity Breaks in Clairton City School District Sixth Grade Classrooms. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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A classroom physical activity break is any physical activity done in the classroom. It can take place at any time and occur in one or several brief periods during the school day. It includes integrating physical activity into academic instruction as well as providing breaks from instruction specifically designed for physical activity. Classroom physical activity can be offered in addition to physical education and recess and at all school levels (elementary, middle, and high school). Classroom physical activity improves students’ concentration and ability to stay on-task in the classroom, reduces disruptive behavior, improves students ‘motivation and engagement in the learning process and increases the number of students’ daily physical activity. Although the data supports the worthwhile intervention of the effectiveness of physical activity breaks, the reality is that physical education in general and specifically classroom physical activity breaks are low priorities for school administration and faculty in the face of pressure for academic performance. Furthermore, the need for schools to address students’ social, health, family and economic needs may further limit schools’ resources and capacity to provide physical education and any additional physical activity throughout the school day. An inquiry of the implementation of classroom physical activity breaks in Clairton City School District sixth grade classrooms to improve classroom physical activity breaks was interrupted and derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Using data collected as part of the inquiry pilot activities as well as surveys and activity logs identified gaps in the school’s ability to support student learning and the lack of capacity at many levels to support students’ health, and in particular their physical activity. Recommended are strategies for universal implications, school reentry in Fall 2020 with classroom physical activity breaks across multiple platforms and long-term implementation of physical activity breaks at Clairton City School District.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Weatherspoon, Britneebln27@pitt.edubln27
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairFertman,
Committee MemberTananis,
Committee MemberSherman,
Date: 2 September 2020
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 17 July 2020
Approval Date: 2 September 2020
Submission Date: 8 August 2020
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 91
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Health and Physical Activity
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: physical activity breaks, classroom physical activity, physical activity, classroom physical activity breaks, middle school, middle school physical activity
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2020 15:56
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 15:56


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