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Classroom-Based Physical Activity Interventions

The Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends two classroom-based interventions to increase physical activity: physical activity breaks and physically active lessons.

Evidence suggests these interventions increase physical activity and results in improvements in educational outcomes. Both types of interventions can be delivered by trained teachers who have access to web or video resources designed to engage students in exercises or dance routines.

What are classroom-based physical activity breaks?

Teachers lead students in physical activity during breaks between classroom lessons. Sessions lasting between four and ten minutes are scheduled from one to three times each school day.

What are classroom-based physically active lesson interventions?

Teachers integrate bouts of physical activity into lessons taught inside or outside of the classroom. Physically active lessons are scheduled every day or several times per week and typically last from 10 to 30 minutes.

Why is this important?

Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, improves cognitive function, and reduces risk of depression. In addition, when youth are regularly physically active, they increase their chances for a healthy adulthood and reduce their risk for chronic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension. Schools are uniquely suited to help students achieve the 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily

Learn more about evidence-based interventions to help increase physical activity in the classroom.