Impact of Coordinated-Bilateral Physical Activities on Attention and Concentration in School-Aged Children

Purpose. This study examined the effects of 4-week, daily 6-minute coordinated-bilateral physical activity (CBPA) breaks in classroom on attention and concentration in school-aged children. Methods. Participants (n=116) in fifth grade from two elementary schools were assigned to three groups: two intervention groups (n= 60) and one control group (n = 56). All three groups were pre- and post-tested with the d2 Test of Attention (d2 test). One intervention group (n = 31) took part in six minutes of daily classroom-based coordinated-bilateral physical activity (CBPA) break for four weeks. Another intervention group (n = 29), the Fitbit Only (Fitbit-O), wore Fitbits per day during a school, five days per week for four weeks without CBPA breaks. A 2 ◊ 3 ANOVA was conducted, followed by the post hoc comparisons. Results. The CBPA showed significant increases in processing speed ( = 6.876, p = .010), focused attention ( = 10.688, p = .002), concentration performance ( = 26.46, p = .000), and attention span ( = 14.090, p = .000) over the control, but not in accuracy (Error %). The CBPA showed significant improvement in concentration performance ( = 24.162, p = .000) and attention span ( = 6.891, p = .011), compared to the Fitbit-O. No significant changes in all five attention parameters were found between the Fitbit-O and the control. Conclusion. It was concluded that daily brief coordinated-bilateral activities can improve attention and concentration in fifth-grade students over the course of four weeks.