F&V, Fit and academically proficient at school
Initiative Description: the researchers developed 63 physically active academic classroom lessons for the second and third grade. During each F&V lesson, 10 to 15 minutes were spent on solving math problems followed by 10 to 15 minutes on solving language problems. The level of the teaching material was based on the math and language curriculum of second- and third-grade classes in the Netherlands.
The physical exercises were of moderate to vigorous intensity but relatively easy to perform. At the start of each lesson, the children stood behind or beside their school desk. During the lessons, specific exercises or basic exercises were performed. The specific exercises were performed when the children answered a question. For example, words had to be spelled by jumping in place for every mentioned letter.
Study Results: Classroom observations showed that children’s on‐task behavior during the lessons was above 70%. On the basis of heart rate measures, on average 64% of the lesson time was spent in MVPA. Posttest mathematics and reading scores of third‐grade children who participated in the intervention were significantly higher in comparison with control children.
Reference: Mullender‐Wijnsma, M. J., Hartman, E., de Greeff, J. W., Bosker, R. J., Doolaard, S., & Visscher, C. (2015). Improving academic performance of school‐age children by physical activity in the classroom: 1‐year program evaluation. Journal of School Health, 85(6), 365-371.
Level of Evidence: Very Good