The Effects of Desk Cycles in Elementary Children’s Classroom Physical Activity: A Feasibility Study

Alicia L. Fedewa, Heather Erwin, Soyeon Ahn, Salman Alawadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Children who are overweight or obese exhibit a significant number of health concerns and are more likely to exhibit mental health and academic-related concerns. Thus, finding ways in schools to help them with multiple barriers is ideal. DeskCyclesTM are one possible means for mitigating some of these concerns. There were three major objectives to this study: (a) To evaluate whether the use of DeskCyclesTM increases child physical activity, (b) To determine if DeskCyclesTM are feasible to use in the classroom for both teachers and students, and (c) To evaluate whether student on-task behavior improves or worsens from student use of DeskCyclesTM. Twenty-eight 5th grade students from two classrooms were randomly assigned to treatment/control conditions wherein the treatment classroom engaged in the use of DeskCyclesTM in their classroom. Both treatment and control classrooms wore wrist accelerometers to measure physical activity. They completed an 11-item feasibility survey regarding the DeskCyclesTM and the intervention teacher participated in a feasibility interview. Results showed no significant differences in physical activity by group, and on-task behavior was significantly lower as time passed during the study. The teacher indicated more barriers to using the DeskCyclesTM, while the students were divided on their perceptions of feasibility. DeskCyclesTM were not an effective intervention for physical activity or behavioral outcomes in this classroom setting. It appears that DeskCyclesTM may not be a beneficial part of the solution for accruing classroom physical activity because they did not generate more physical activity, and students did not demonstrate better behavior while using them.

Keywords

  • DeskCycles
  • school
  • stationary cycling
  • workstation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Occupational Therapy

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