Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department/School/Program

Education Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Heather Erwin

Second Advisor

Dr. Aaron Beighle

Abstract

The relationship between students’ physical activity (PA) and on-task behavior in the classroom setting was examined. Given that students spend nearly half of their waking hours in school, researchers have suggested that the school environment could play a crucial role in increasing children’s PA. Physical activity of 157 first- and second-grade students was assessed using ActiGraph (GT1M) accelerometers during school hours. Momentary time sampling (MTS) tracked the on-task behaviors of 72 of the 157 participants every 30 seconds. Multiple linear regressions and paired sample t tests were run to measure students’ classroom PA steps, PA intensity levels in the classroom, and on-task behaviors. Results indicated weak, yet significant, inverse correlations between students’ PA steps, PA intensity levels, and on-task behaviors (R =.40, R2 = .16, p = .01). On-task behaviors and steps taken in the classroom before recess indicate a significant inverse relationship (R = -.18, R2 = .03), indicating the pre-recess classroom steps account for 3% of the variance in on-task behavior. Steps taken in the classroom indicate a significant inverse relationship (R = -.20, R2 = .04) with on-task behavior. The results from the linear regression analysis after recess indicate that the post-recess steps can account for approximately 4% of the variance of the on-task behavior. These overall results suggest that greater PA levels in the classroom setting were associated with less on-task behavior. Results from the t test indicate a significant (t(143) = -4.32, p < .001) increase in on-task behavior (3%) after recess. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that 84% of the variance in on-task behavior is accounted for by non-PA suggesting that other variables may affect students’ on-task behaviors in the classroom setting.

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