Feasibility and acceptability of a classroom-based active breaks intervention for 8-12-year old children

Gillian McLellan, Rosie Arthur, Samantha Donnelly, Andisheh Bakhshi, Stuart J. Fairclough, Sarah Taylor, Duncan S. Buchan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
24 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: This study explored the feasibility of conducting a classroom-based active breaks intervention on sedentary behavior (SB), physical activity (PA) and attention in 8–12-year-old children. Methods: Eight schools were randomized on a 1:1 basis to the control or intervention. Teachers selected 10 cards detailing an activity break at random. Children then undertook each of the ten activity breaks for 30 s, three times per day for 6 weeks. School and participant recruitment, attrition rates, percentage of outcome measures collected, and acceptability were used to explore the feasibility of the study. Mixed effects models were undertaken to examine intervention effects upon measures of PA, SB and attention. Results: Two hundred and thirty-nine consent forms were issued and 153 were returned (64%). Of the 153 consents, 146 children (95%) were measured at baseline, and 117 participated in the follow-up measures (80%) 6 weeks later suggesting the intervention was acceptable for the participants. From teacher interviews, it was noted that the intervention was feasible to implement, and teachers observed positive classroom behavior changes in children. Inclusion rates for outcome measures ranged from 49% to 66%. Significant, intervention effects were observed for sitting time (B = −27.19; 95%CI: −36.84, −17.17), standing time (B = 23.51; 95%CI 14.1, 32.45) and the number of sit to stand transitions (B = 16.1; 95%CI 4.7, 26.79). Conclusion: Findings suggest that it was feasible and acceptable to implement an active breaks intervention within the classroom setting. Future work should consider the effectiveness of implementing this intervention across a full academic year.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)813-824
Number of pages12
JournalResearch Quarterly for Exercise and Sport
Issue number4
Early online date8 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2022


  • school
  • executive function
  • ActiGraph
  • ActivPAL


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