A Process Evaluation of A UK Classroom-Based Physical Activity Intervention—‘Busy Brain Breaks’

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
91 Downloads (Pure)


The gap between development of effective physical activity interventions and the wide-scale adoption of these interventions in real-world settings has been reported since the early 2000s. Evaluations have been criticised for failing to report details of context, implementation, adoption and maintenance. 'Busy Brain Breaks' was an intervention designed to improve fundamental movement patterns whilst increasing physical activity within the classroom. This evaluation study used a mixed-methods approach including questionnaires, observations, semi-structured interviews and quantification of class-level dose. Findings suggest that giving teachers flexibility and autonomy over the way in which they implement physical activity interventions may increase the likelihood of adoption. Time was frequently perceived as a significant barrier to the intervention, giving the teachers flexibility to implement the intervention when they thought most suitable allowed teaching staff to retain their autonomy and make the intervention work with their schedule. Children's behaviour appeared to be both a facilitator and barrier to implementing physical activity interventions within the classroom. Whilst misbehaviour can pose as a barrier, children's enjoyment acts as a key facilitator to implementation for teaching practitioners. Teachers interviewed ( = 17) observed that movement ability had developed as a result of the intervention and recognised co-ordination, balance and stability as areas that had noticeably improved. Conducting an in-depth process evaluation has allowed for greater insight and understanding as to how, and to what extent, the intervention was implemented within the school-based setting.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Early online date20 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2021


  • Classroom based
  • Fundamental movement skills
  • Intervention
  • Physical activity
  • Primary schools
  • Process evaluation
  • RE-AIM framework


Dive into the research topics of 'A Process Evaluation of A UK Classroom-Based Physical Activity Intervention—‘Busy Brain Breaks’'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this