Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Exercise Science

First Advisor

Pate, Russell R


Previous research has shown that physical activity may have beneficial effects on cognitive performance and academic achievement in children, but the optimal type and dose are unknown. Classroom exercise breaks are one type of physical activity opportunity in schools, with the potential to reach a large number of children. The purpose of this dissertation was to describe the prevalence and characteristics of classroom exercise breaks in central South Carolina, and to determine the acute effects of classroom exercise breaks on executive functions, math performance, on-task behavior and affective responses in 9 to 12 year-old children. Additionally, the dissertation examined the dose-response relationship between 5, 10, and 20 minutes of classroom exercise and these educational outcomes. Finally, the dissertation examined whether these relationships between the duration of acute classroom exercise breaks and educational outcomes varied by student characteristics. The dissertation used multiple designs including cross-sectional surveys and an experimental design.