International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
URL with Digital Object Identifier
Adolescence represents a sensitive period whereby lifestyle factors such as physical activity can have profound, long-lasting effects on development and later life habits. However, adolescence constitutes a period of frequent sedentary behaviour. Among children, integrating physical activity into elementary school classrooms has been shown to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve academic achievement and overall physical and mental health. However, this promising area of research has not extended to adolescents and high school classrooms. In this paper, we describe the benefits of conducting research on the impact of physically active high school classrooms, and highlight the challenges and potential misconceptions associated with research in this field. Specifically, we review research on the role of physical activity in adolescent development, the benefits of classroom-based physical activity for children, and discuss the factors that may have led researchers to focus on classroom-based physical activity primarily for children, despite the potentially similar benefits for adolescents.