Priority Research Centre in Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Education, University of Newcastle, Callaghan Campus, Australia
ActiGraph Digital Endpoint Accelerator Research GrantCall for Letter of Intent Learn more
Outcomes and process evaluation of a programme integrating physical activity into the primary school mathematics curriculum: The EASY Minds pilot randomised controlled trial
- Published on Sept. 18, 2014
Objectives: This study evaluated the feasibility of the ‘Encouraging Activity to Stimulate Young (EASY) Minds’ programme, a school-based intervention for integrating physical activity (PA) into mathematics lessons.
Design: Randomised controlled trial.
Methods: Two classes from a single school (n = 54) were randomised to receive either the 6-week EASY Minds intervention (n = 27) or follow their usual school programme (n = 27). The intervention involved the embedding of PA across the pre-existing mathematics programme for 3 × 60 min sessions per week. Changes in PA were measured using accelerometers and ‘on task’ behaviour was measured using momentary time sampling observation.
Results: Using intention-to-treat analysis, significant intervention effects were found for MVPA (9.7%, 95%CI = 7.6, 11.8, p ≤ 0.001) and sedentary time (−22.4%, CI = −24.9, −12.2, p ≤ 0.001) for the intervention group during Mathematics lessons (9.30am–10.30am). Significant intervention effects were also shown for MVPA 8.7% (95% CI = 5.8, 11.6, p ≤ 0.001 and sedentary time −18.6% (95% CI = −24.9, −12.2, p ≤ 0.001) across the whole school day. Furthermore, children displayed significantly greater ‘on-task’ behaviour across the intervention period with a 19.9% (95%CI = 2.4, 37.4, p ≤ 0.03) mean difference between groups.
Conclusions: The EASY Minds programme demonstrated that integrating movement across the primary mathematics syllabus is feasible and efficacious in enhancing school based-PA and improving on-task behaviour in mathematics lessons.