Contextual factors related to implementation of classroom physical activity breaks

Jun 08, 2017 | J. A. Carlson, J. K. Engelberg, K. L. Cain, T. L. Conway, C. Geremia, E. Bonilla, J. Kerner and J. F. Sallis

Brief structured physical activity in the classroom is effective for increasing student physical activity. The present study investigated the association between implementation-related contextual factors and intervention implementation after adoption of a structured classroom physical activity intervention. Six elementary-school districts adopted structured classroom physical activity programs in 2013-2014. Implementation contextual factors and intervention implementation (structured physical activity provided in past week or month, yes/no) were assessed using surveys of 337 classroom teachers from 24 schools. Mixed-effects models accounted for the nested design. Availability of resources (yes/no, ORs = 1.91-2.93) and implementation climate z-scores (ORs = 1.36-1.47) were consistently associated with implementation. Teacher-perceived classroom behavior benefits (OR = 1.29) but not student enjoyment or health benefits, and time (OR = 2.32) and academic (OR = 1.63) barriers but not student cooperation barriers were associated with implementation (all z-scores). Four implementation contextual factor composites had an additive association with implementation (OR = 1.64 for each additional favorable composite). Training and technical assistance alone may not support a large proportion of teachers to implement structured classroom physical activity. In addition to lack of time and interference with academic lessons, school climate related to whether administrators and other teachers were supportive of the intervention were key factors explaining whether teachers implemented the intervention. Evidence-based implementation strategies are needed for effectively communicating the benefits of classroom physical activity on student behavior and improving teacher and administrator climate/attitudes around classroom physical activity.

PubMed Abstract

Carlson JA, Engelberg JK, Cain KL, et al. Contextual factors related to implementation of classroom physical activity breaks. Translational behavioral medicine. 2017.