Revising on the run or studying on the sofa: prospective associations between physical activity, sedentary behaviour, and exam results in British adolescents
- The international journal of behavioral nutrition and physical activity
- Published over 2 years ago
We investigated prospective associations between physical activity/sedentary behaviour (PA/SED) and General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) results in British adolescents.
Research has shown that genes play an important role in educational achievement. A key question is the extent to which the same genes affect different academic subjects before and after controlling for general intelligence. The present study investigated genetic and environmental influences on, and links between, the various subjects of the age-16 UK-wide standardized GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) examination results for 12,632 twins. Using the twin method that compares identical and non-identical twins, we found that all GCSE subjects were substantially heritable, and that various academic subjects correlated substantially both phenotypically and genetically, even after controlling for intelligence. Further evidence for pleiotropy in academic achievement was found using a method based directly on DNA from unrelated individuals. We conclude that performance differences for all subjects are highly heritable at the end of compulsory education and that many of the same genes affect different subjects independent of intelligence.
Classroom-based high-intensity interval activity improves off-task behaviour in primary school students
- Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism = Physiologie appliquée, nutrition et métabolisme
- Published over 3 years ago
This study examined the effects of an acute bout of brief, high-intensity interval exercise on off-task classroom behaviour in primary school students. A grade 4 class (n = 24) and a grade 2 class (n = 20) were exposed to either a no-activity break or an active break that consisted of “FUNtervals”, a high-intensity interval protocol, on alternating days for 3 weeks. No-activity days consisted of a 10-min inactive break while FUNterval days consisted of a 4-min FUNterval completed within a 10-min break from regular class activities. Off-task behaviour was observed for 50 min after each no-activity/FUNterval break, with the amount of time students spent off-task (motor, passive, and verbal behaviour) being recorded. When comparing no-activity breaks with FUNtervals the grade 4 class demonstrated reductions in both passive (no activity = 29% ± 13% vs. FUNterval = 25% ± 13%, p < 0.05, effect size (ES) = 0.31) and motor (no activity = 31% ± 16% vs. FUNterval = 24% ± 13%, p < 0.01, ES = 0.48) off-task behaviour following FUNtervals. Similarly, in the grade 2 class, passive (no activity = 23% ± 14% vs. FUNterval = 14% ± 10%, p < 0.01, ES = 0.74), verbal (no activity = 8% ± 8% vs. FUNterval = 5% ± 5%, p < 0.05, ES = 0.45), and motor (no activity = 29% ± 17% vs. FUNterval = 14% ± 10%, p < 0.01, ES = 1.076) off-task behaviours were reduced following FUNtervals. In both classrooms the effects of physical activity were greatest in those students demonstrating the highest rates of off-task behaviour on no-activity days. These data demonstrate that very brief high-intensity bouts of exercise can improve off-task behaviour in grade 2 and 4 students, particularly in students with high rates of such behaviour.
The primary recommendation of the 2010 President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report on K-12 education was to inspire more students so that they are motivated to study science. Scientists' visits to classrooms are intended to inspire learners and increase their interest in science, but verifications of this impact are largely qualitative. Our primary goal was to evaluate the impact of a longstanding Brain Awareness classroom visit program focused on increasing learners understanding of their own brains. Educational psychologists have established that neuroscience training sessions can improve academic performance and shift attitudes of students from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. Our secondary goal was to determine whether short interactive Brain Awareness scientist-in-the-classroom sessions could similarly alter learners' perceptions of their own potential to learn. Teacher and student surveys were administered in 4(th)-6(th) grade classrooms throughout Minnesota either before or after one-hour Brain Awareness sessions that engaged students in activities related to brain function. Teachers rated the Brain Awareness program as very valuable and said that the visits stimulated students' interest in the brain and in science. Student surveys probed general attitudes towards science and their knowledge of neuroscience concepts (particularly the ability of the brain to change). Significant favorable improvements were found on 10 of 18 survey statements. Factor analyses of 4805 responses demonstrated that Brain Awareness presentations increased positive attitudes toward science and improved agreement with statements related to growth mindset. Overall effect sizes were small, consistent with the short length of the presentations. Thus, the impact of Brain Awareness presentations was positive and proportional to the efforts expended, demonstrating that short, scientist-in-the-classroom visits can make a positive contribution to primary school students' attitudes toward science and learning.
The primary objective was to determine the relationship between advanced age and need for admission from an emergency department (ED) observation unit. The secondary objective was to determine the relationship between initial ED vital signs and admission.
This article improves our understanding of the causal processes driving the dynamic behavior of education systems using a System Dynamics approach. The model presented here has three state variables: Population, Population in Primary School, and Primary School Graduates whose values are calibrated for the case of Nicaragua. It also includes nonlinear complex interactions between critical factors, e.g., the state of the economy, the state of the education system, and population literacy that affect the system’s transition rates -intake, repetition, dropout, and promotion- which therefore influence the dynamics of schooling outcomes. These schooling outcomes in turn affect population literacy and economic progress in the country thus generating aggregate patterns that continuously change (and are changed by) the inputs that endogenously determine them, which could potentially explain why educational systems exhibit persistently good or bad outcomes. Simulation runs show a strong correspondence with observed data and additionally the model provides meaningful insights to guide policy making in educational reform, such as the ability to reveal the presence of ‘ghost students’. This paper concludes that complex dynamic systems modeling and simulation can facilitate forecasting of school system behavior and the detection of policy inconsistencies, something conventional modeling cannot do.
Increased education of girls in developing contexts is associated with a number of important positive health, social, and economic outcomes for a community. The event of menarche tends to coincide with girls' transitions from primary to secondary education and may constitute a barrier for continued school attendance and performance. Following the MRC Framework for Complex Interventions, a pilot controlled study was conducted in Ghana to assess the role of sanitary pads in girls' education.
Current evidence suggests that women need effective support to breastfeed, but many healthcare staff lack the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills. There is therefore a need for breastfeeding education and training for healthcare staff. The primary aim of this review is to determine whether education and training programs for healthcare staff have an effect on their knowledge and attitudes about supporting breastfeeding women. The secondary aim of this review was to identify whether any differences in type of training or discipline of staff mattered.
Recovery Colleges offer educational courses about recovery and mental health which are co-produced by mental health professionals and experts by lived experience. Previous evaluations have found positive effects of Recovery Colleges on a range of outcomes including wellbeing, recovery and quality of life.
Behavior Change without Behavior Change Communication: Nudging Handwashing among Primary School Students in Bangladesh
- International journal of environmental research and public health
- Published over 2 years ago
Behavior change communication for improving handwashing with soap can be labor and resource intensive, yet quality results are difficult to achieve. Nudges are environmental cues engaging unconscious decision-making processes to prompt behavior change. In this proof-of-concept study, we developed an inexpensive set of nudges to encourage handwashing with soap after toilet use in two primary schools in rural Bangladesh. We completed direct observation of behaviors at baseline, after providing traditional handwashing infrastructure, and at multiple time periods following targeted handwashing nudges (1 day, 2 weeks, and 6 weeks). No additional handwashing education or motivational messages were completed. Handwashing with soap among school children was low at baseline (4%), increasing to 68% the day after nudges were completed and 74% at both 2 weeks and 6 weeks post intervention. Results indicate that nudge-based interventions have the potential to improve handwashing with soap among school-aged children in Bangladesh and specific areas of further inquiry are discussed.