The purpose of this study is to determine if the "Moving Smart" program, a daily 10-minute
classroom-based exercise program, increases physical activity levels during the school day
in Bronx elementary school students.
Background: Medical and national public health authorities recommend daily school physical
education for all ages due to well-known health benefits of physical activity. Nevertheless,
daily physical education among elementary and secondary school students is not common in
United States' (US) schools. Moreover, some of the schools in many US cities, such as the
Bronx, do not even have gymnasiums or physical education teachers.
Objective: We propose to implement and test the effectiveness and feasibility of the "Moving
Smart" (MS) program, a daily, 10-minute classroom-based physical activity program led by
teachers that integrate academic objectives with physical activity, on increasing physical
activity (PA) levels during the school day in Bronx elementary school students.
Design/ Methods: A cluster-randomized, wait-listed control trial of four Bronx elementary
schools with one-year follow-up longitudinal study. Students in two intervention schools
will receive the MS 3-times daily, for 10-minutes each time, in addition to regular physical
education classes. Two wait-listed control schools will receive their regular physical
education classes only. Subjects in the wait-listed control group will be offered the MS
after the program is withdrawn from the intervention group at the end of the first year of
study. A pedometer, an objective measure of PA in children, will be used to determine mean
number of steps each student takes during school hours for 5 consecutive days at baseline,
and every 3-months during the 2-year study period. For longitudinal follow-up, we will
collect data from intervention group students and teachers on PA levels every 3-months for
one-year after the intervention cessation. We will also collect yearly BMIs as a measure of
overweight status. Descriptive statistics will be used to portray baseline characteristics
of each group based on school, district, region, and NYC-wide data. The impact of the
intervention on PA will be measured by comparing intervention and control schools using
pedometer measurements as the primary dependent variable and students as the unit of
analysis. We will collect fidelity measures by randomly selecting classes from the
intervention schools and directly observing the level of PA present. We will determine the
extent to which the MS becomes a part of the routine school policy by following the students
and teachers from the intervention schools for 1-year after the intervention cessation.
- Elementary school students in K-3 grade in the Bronx, New York
- Inability to participate in basic exercise program
- Students whose parents signed the opt-out letter
Philip O Ozuah, M.D., Ph.D.
Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine