Paying attention (time-on-task) is essential for efficient learning in school. Elementary school children are full of energy and are known to spend time-off-task by talking or moving when teachers are giving instructions and lessons. This may, in turn, diminish learning. Physical Activity Across the Curriculum or “PAAC” is a program that allows teachers to incorporate active lessons in the classroom – but, doing so without diminishing time spent on academic instruction. In this study, teachers at nine elementary schools used active lessons from PAAC across a three-year period and results were compared against teachers at eight other elementary schools that used traditional sedentary lessons. Investigators found that children who received Physical Activity Across the Curriculum  lessons increased their time-on-task compared to children who received a sedentary lesson. Further, as the amount of time spent on active lessons increased, the amount of time-on-task also increased. Thus, active lessons do not diminish academic instruction time and increase students’ time-on-task for learning.  

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Journal Link: Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise