Laura Ford

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Jacob Hall, Ph.D


This action research project investigated the implementation of movement breaks in a third-grade classroom to enhance academic performance and behavior. The short study aimed to assess whether integrating regular movement breaks into the classroom routine would lead to significant improvements in academic outcomes and behavior, particularly those students diagnosed with Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Over a designated period, movement breaks were introduced at a specific interval during the school day. Data was collected through observations, surveys, and behavior tracking. Surprisingly, the findings revealed that despite the incorporation of movement breaks, there was no significant difference observed in overall academics or behavior among the students. This suggests that while movement breaks may have other benefits, such as promoting physical activity and engagement, their direct impact on academic engagement and behavior in this context may be limited. Further research is warranted to explore alternative strategies for leveraging movement breaks effectively in educational settings such as integration of movement into instructional time.