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Decrease sedentary time in primary school students (CLASS PAL Study)

'Move to teach, move to learn' – a collaborative school-based programme to decrease sedentary time in primary school students (CLASS PAL Study)

What we are doing:

The CLASS PAL (Physically Active Learning) project is working with schools in the East Midlands to develop, implement and evaluate a programme that provides opportunities to break up sedentary time and, in turn, increase physical activity for year 5 students (aged 9-10 years). We are supporting teachers to use flexible adaptive components of the intervention within different contexts and settings rather than prescribing a standard ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Why are we doing it:

It is generally believed that too much sitting is detrimental to children’s health. Young children today are increasingly driven to school and learning often means sitting at a desk for long periods. To date, few school-based interventions have focused on reducing sedentary behaviour throughout the whole day. It is likely to be challenging for teachers to change their teaching methods to provide opportunities to students to break up sedentary time and incorporate more physical activity throughout the day. A natural and flexible approach to accommodate the different settings, teaching methods, curriculum subjects and physical environment is required for sustainable implementation. Most importantly, school teachers and support staff need to be empowered to implement their own interventions which will be appropriate to their school contexts and students.

What the benefits will be:

Reducing sedentary time and increasing physical activity during the school day will hopefully produce positive changes in the health and wellbeing of students and lead to behaviour change that will be sustained into adulthood. In addition, this work will hopefully engage and mobilise a range of stakeholders to create feasible and sustainable changes to policy and practice which will lead to a decrease in the time pupils spend sitting in UK schools.

Who we are working with:

  • Primary schools across the East Midlands
  • Loughborough University
  • The Youth Sports Trust, Affinity Teaching School Alliance
  • Leicester Diabetes Centre
  • University of Leicester
  • University of Nottingham
  • Deakin University, Australia
  • National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine in the East Midlands
  • University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust
  • East Midlands Academic Health Science Network
  • British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health
  • Lumo BodyTech Inc.
  • Designed to Move (Nike)

Study lead:

Dr Lauren Sherar, Senior Lecturer, Physical Activity and Public Health, Loughborough University


Carol Akroyd