The purpose of this study was to explore classroom teachers’ perceptions in providing physical activity breaks during their regular lessons in their classrooms. Twenty-two randomly selected school teachers (6 men and 16 women) from public urban elementary schools participated in this study. Data collection took place in the participating school settings during regular school time and included 30-minute semi-structured interviews, teachers’ reflective journals and field notes taken for classroom facilities, number of students in each class, available space in each class, etc. Data were analyzed inductively by conducting a systematic search for similar patterns that occurred across the collected data. According to the results, teachers identified barriers to implementation of activity breaks, such as a) had a hard time for class management when movement activities were included, b) did not have a minimum repertoire of activities to implement in class, c) had limited pedagogical knowledge in implementing the activity breaks, d) had difficulties in re-starting the class, e) had a limitation of time, due to the additional workload, beyond their regular teaching load in class and other school responsibilities and f) had limited space to implement physical activity breaks in the classroom. As far as the content, results showed that teachers prefer activity breaks relevant to the lesson, enjoyable to students, or waking up students to attend the rest of the lesson effectively. These findings may have practical implications regarding physical education teacher education and professional development for classroom teachers.


Activity breaks Classroom teachers Elementary school Obesity


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