Advertisement

The effects of classroom-based dynamic seating interventions on academic outcomes in youth: a systematic review

  • Scott Rollo
  • Lauren Crutchlow
  • Taniya S. Nagpal
  • Wuyou Sui
  • Harry Prapavessis
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this systematic review was to synthesise and evaluate the literature on the effects of classroom-based dynamic seating interventions on academic-related outcomes, among school-aged children and adolescents. A secondary aim was to examine the effects of interventions on students’ sedentary behaviour and physical activity levels. In September 2017, four electronic databases (PsycINFO, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science) were searched and a total of 5138 titles and abstracts were reviewed. Studies that examined associations between a classroom-based dynamic seating intervention and at least one academic-related outcome in school-aged children or adolescents were included. A best-evidence synthesis and narrative approach was implemented to synthesise the evidence. Thirteen studies published between 2003 and 2017 were identified that met the inclusion criteria for the review. There is some evidence that classroom-based dynamic seating interventions could have positive effects on the in-seat behaviour, academic engagement and attention of school aged-children and adolescents, predominantly those with attention difficulties. It is currently unclear whether dynamic seating has positive effects on students’ on-task behaviour, disruptive behaviour, memory, concentration or academic achievement. No intervention was found to have a detrimental effect on academic-related outcomes. The findings come from low-quality to moderate-quality studies (M = 60.62%; SD = 10.44). Classroom-based dynamic seating could be a simple, effective health strategy to reduce students’ static sitting time without compromising student learning and academic performance. The current interventions need to be replicated with larger, adequately-powered RCT designs, valid and reliable outcome measures, and assessment of intervention fidelity.

Keywords

Academic achievement Classroom Classroom behaviour Cognitive performance Dynamic seating Intervention Sedentary behaviour Youth 

Notes

Acknowledgements

SR conceived the study. SR, LC, TN and HP contributed to the final design of the review. SR, LC and TN executed the study. SR, LC and TN extracted study data of the included studies. All authors had full access to all of the data (including findings and tables) in the study and can take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis. SR, LC and TN prepared the first draft of the manuscript that was jointly interpreted and edited by the other authors (HP and WS). All listed authors contributed to and approved the final version of the manuscript. PROSPERO Registration Number: CRD42017077658.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Bagatell, N., Mirigliani, G., Patterson, C., Reyes, Y., & Test, L. (2010). Effectiveness of therapy ball chairs on classroom participation in children with autism spectrum disorders. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64(6), 895–903.  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2010.09149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bartholomew, J. B., & Jowers, E. M. (2011). Physically active academic lessons in elementary children. Preventive Medicine, 52, S51–S54.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.01.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cardon, G., De Clercq, D., De Bourdeaudhuij, I., & Breithecker, D. (2004). Sitting habits in elementary schoolchildren: A traditional versus a “Moving school”. Patient Education and Counselling, 54(2), 133–142.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0738-3991(03)00215-5.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Case-Smith, J., & O’Brien, J. C. (2014). Occupational therapy for children and adolescents: e-book. St Louis, MO: Elsevier Health Sciences.Google Scholar
  5. Diaz, K. M., Howard, V. J., Hutto, B., Colabianchi, N., Vena, J. E., Safford, M. M., et al. (2017). Patterns of sedentary behavior and mortality in US Middle-aged and older adults: A national cohort study. Annals of Internal Medicine, 167(7), 465–475.  https://doi.org/10.7326/M17-0212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Donnelly, J. E., & Lambourne, K. (2011). Classroom-based physical activity, cognition, and academic achievement. Preventive Medicine, 52, S36–S42.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.01.021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dornhecker, M., Blake, J. J., Benden, M., Zhao, H., & Wendel, M. (2015). The effect of stand-biased desks on academic engagement: An exploratory study. International Journal of Health Promotion and Education, 53(5), 271–280.  https://doi.org/10.1080/14635240.2015.1029641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Downs, S. H., & Black, N. (1998). The feasibility of creating a checklist for the assessment of the methodological quality both of randomised and non-randomised studies of health care interventions. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 52(6), 377–384.  https://doi.org/10.1136/jech.52.6.377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2004). Educational psychology: Windows on classrooms (6th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  10. Erwin, H. E., Fedewa, A., Ahn, S., & Thornton, M. (2016). Elementary students’ physical activity levels and behavior when using stability balls. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(2), 700220010p1–700220010p7.  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.017079.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Erwin, H., Fedewa, A., Beighle, A., & Ahn, S. (2012). A quantitative review of physical activity, health, and learning outcomes associated with classroom-based physical activity interventions. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 28(1), 14–36.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15377903.2012.643755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fedewa, A., Davis, M. A., & Ahn, S. (2015). Effects of stability balls on children’s on-task behavior, academic achievement, and discipline referrals: A randomized controlled trial. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69(2), 6902220020p1–6902220020p9.  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.014829.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fedewa, A. L., & Erwin, H. E. (2011). Stability balls and students with attention and hyperactivity concerns: Implications for on-task and in-seat behavior. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(4), 393–399.  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.000554.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Gaston, A., Moore, S., & Butler, L. (2016). Sitting on a stability ball improves attention span and reduces anxious/depressive symptomatology among grade 2 students: A prospective case-control field experiment. International Journal of Educational Research, 77, 136–142.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijer.2016.03.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Green, B. N., Johnson, C. D., & Adams, A. (2006). Writing narrative literature reviews for peer-reviewed journals: Secrets of the trade. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 5(3), 101–117.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0899-3467(07)60142-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hahn, S., Puffer, S., Torgerson, D. J., & Watson, J. (2005). Methodological bias in cluster randomised trials. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 5(1), 10–17.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2288-5-10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hill, L. J., Williams, J. H., Aucott, L., Thomson, J., & Mon-Williams, M. (2011). How does exercise benefit performance on cognitive tests in primary-school pupils? Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 53(7), 630–635.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03954.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Janssen, I., & LeBlanc, A. G. (2010). Systematic review of the health benefits of physical activity and fitness in school-aged children and youth. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 7(1), 7–40.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-7-40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Katzmarzyk, P. T., Church, T. S., Craig, C. L., & Bouchard, C. (2009). Sitting time and mortality from all causes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 41(5), 998–1005.  https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181930355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Koepp, G. A., Snedden, B. J., Flynn, L., Puccinelli, D., Huntsman, B., & Levine, J. A. (2012). Feasibility analysis of standing desks for sixth graders. ICAN: Infant, Child, & Adolescent Nutrition, 4(2), 89–92.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1941406412439414.Google Scholar
  21. Lange, M.L. (2000). Dynamic seating. OT Practice, 5, 21–22.Google Scholar
  22. Mahar, M. T. (2011). Impact of short bouts of physical activity on attention-to-task in elementary school children. Preventive Medicine, 52, S60–S64.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2011.01.026.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McMullen, J., Kulinna, P., & Cothran, D. (2014). Chapter 5 physical activity opportunities during the school day: Classroom teachers’ perceptions of using activity breaks in the classroom. Journal of Teaching in Physical Education, 33(4), 511–527.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jtpe.2014-0062.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mead, T., Scibora, L., Gardner, J., & Dunn, S. (2016). The impact of stability balls, activity breaks, and a sedentary classroom on standardized math scores. Physical Educator, 73(3), 433–449.  https://doi.org/10.18666/TPE-2016-V73-I3-5303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D.G., & The PRISMA Group. (2009). Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement. Open Medicine, 3(3), 123–130.Google Scholar
  26. Norris, E., Shelton, N., Dunsmuir, S., Duke-Williams, O., & Stamatakis, E. (2015). Physically active lessons as physical activity and educational interventions: a systematic review of methods and results. Preventive Medicine, 72, 116–125.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.12.027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Owen, K. B., Parker, P. D., Van Zanden, B., MacMillan, F., Astell-Burt, T., & Lonsdale, C. (2016). Physical activity and school engagement in youth: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Educational Psychologist, 51(2), 129–145.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00461520.2016.1151793.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Pfeiffer, B., Henry, A., Miller, S., & Witherell, S. (2008). Effectiveness of Disc ‘O’Sit cushions on attention to task in second-grade students with attention difficulties. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 62(3), 274–281.  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.62.3.274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Ridgers, N. D., Stratton, G., Fairclough, S. J., & Twisk, J. W. (2007). Long-term effects of a playground markings and physical structures on children’s recess physical activity levels. Preventive Medicine, 44(5), 393–397.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2007.01.009.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Rollo, S., Smith, S., & Prapavessis, H. (2017). Do you want your students to pay more attention in class? Try dynamic seating! Journal of Ergonomics, 7, 217–220.  https://doi.org/10.4172/2165-7556.1000217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schilling, D. L., & Schwartz, I. S. (2004). Alternative seating for young children with autism spectrum disorder: Effects on classroom behavior. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34(4), 423–432.  https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JADD.0000037418.48587.f4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schilling, D. L., Washington, K., Billingsley, F. F., & Deitz, J. (2003). Classroom seating for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Therapy balls versus chairs. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 57, 534–541.  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.57.5.534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sherry, A. P., Pearson, N., & Clemes, S. A. (2016). The effects of standing desks within the school classroom: A systematic review. Preventive Medicine Reports, 3, 338–347.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.03.016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Statistics Canada. (2017). Directly measured physical activity of children and youth, 2012 and 2013. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2015001/article/14136-eng.htm. Accessed 31 Oct 2017.
  35. Teach in Ontario. (2017). Ontario school’s system: School year. https://www.teachinontario.ca/tio/en/schoolyear.htm.
  36. Tomporowski, P. D., Davis, C. L., Miller, P. H., & Naglieri, J. A. (2008). Exercise and children’s intelligence, cognition, and academic achievement. Educational Psychology Review, 20(2), 111–131.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10648-007-9057-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Torbeyns, T., Bailey, S., Bos, I., & Meeusen, R. (2014). Active workstations to fight sedentary behaviour. Sports Medicine, 44, 1261–1273.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0202-x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Torbeyns, T., de Geus, B., Bailey, S., Decroix, L., Van Cutsem, J., De Pauw, K., et al. (2017). Bike desks in the classroom: Energy expenditure, physical health, cognitive performance, brain functioning and academic performance. Journal of Physical Activity and Health.  https://doi.org/10.1123/jpah.2016-0224.Google Scholar
  39. Tremblay, M. S., Aubert, S., Barnes, J. D., Saunders, T. J., Carson, V., Latimer-Cheung, A. E., et al. (2017). Sedentary Behavior Research Network (SBRN)–Terminology Consensus Project process and outcome. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 75–91.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0525-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Tremblay, M. S., LeBlanc, A. G., Kho, M. E., Saunders, T. J., Larouche, R., Colley, R. C., et al. (2011). Systematic review of sedentary behaviour and health indicators in school-aged children and youth. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 8(1), 98–119.  https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5868-8-98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Umeda, C., & Deitz, J. (2011). Effects of therapy cushions on classroom behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65(2), 152–159.  https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.000760.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Voelcker-Rehage, C., & Niemann, C. (2013). Structural and functional brain changes related to different types of physical activity across the life span. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 37(9), 2268–2295.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.01.028.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Watson, A., Timperio, A., Brown, H., Best, K., & Hesketh, K. D. (2017). Effect of classroom-based physical activity interventions on academic and physical activity outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 114–137.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-017-0569-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Exercise and Health Psychology Laboratory, School of KinesiologyThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.R. Samuel McLaughlin Foundation - Exercise and Pregnancy LaboratoryThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations