The Effect of Physical Activity in the Classroom on On-task Behavior for Elementary Students

Date of Award

Winter 12-20-2018

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Curriculum & Instruction


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Courtney LaLonde



This purpose of this research was to determine the effect that physical activity had on student engagement and on-task behavior in a classroom of fourth grade students. Participants were observed during a twenty-minute ELA block and monitored for their on-task and off-task behavior over the course of six weeks. Each week rotated between having no physical activity present during the instructional time and having physical activity present during the instructional time. The study aimed to see if physical activity related to the content being taught positively impacted on-task behavior therefore reducing off-task behavior. The results showed that during the weeks where physical activity was present during the lesson off-task behavior was reduced. The physical activity provided an intervention for students that allowed them to be more active and engaged in the content being taught.

Abstract only: No full text available.