To date, the majority of interventions have implemented classroom-based physical activity (PA) at the elementary level; however, there is both the potential and need to explore student outcomes at high-school level as well, given that very few studies have incorporated classroom-based PA interventions for adolescents. One exception has been the use of bicycle workstations within secondary classrooms. Using bicycle workstations in lieu of traditional chairs in a high school setting shows promise for enhancing adolescents’ physical activity during the school day.


The present study explored the effects of integrating bicycle workstations into a secondary classroom setting for four months in a sample of 115 adolescents using an A-B-A-B withdrawal design. The study took place in one Advanced Placement English classroom across five groups of students. Physical activity outcomes included average heart rate, and caloric expenditure. Behavioural outcomes included percentage of on-task/off-task behaviour and number of teacher prompts in redirecting off-task behaviour. Feasibility and acceptability data of using the bicycle workstations were also collected.


Findings showed significant improvements in physical activity as measured by heart rate and caloric expenditure, although heart rate percentage remained in the low intensity range when students were on the bicycle workstations. No effects were found on students’ on-task behaviour when using the bicycle workstations. Overall, students found the bikes acceptable to use but noted disadvantages of them as well.


Using bicycle workstations in high-school settings appears promising for enhancing low-intensity physical activity among adolescents. The limitations of the present study and implications for physical activity interventions in secondary schools are discussed.

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Published in Health Psychology Report, v. 6, 1, p. 60-74.

© 2017 Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/), allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.

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