Stage of Research: Fundamental Research Team Members: 4
Attainment Cognition Physical Activity

Physically Active Learning (PAL)

Physically Active Learning (PAL), the Integration of movement within the delivery of academic content, improves health, wellbeing and academic outcomes. Yet, academic lessons persistently remain the most sedentary period within a young person’s day. As a result, a large majority of children – especially those with difficulties with attention – fail to achieve their academic potential.

Within Bradford, we are investigating the short-term impact of classroom movement breaks and physically active learning on concentration, behaviour and learning. 450 children from schools across the Bradford district have participated in this study. Academics from the Universities of Leeds and Bradford, and the Bradford Institute of Health Research are currently analysing the data collected, with a report due in early 2022. Internationally, the University of Bradford has also played a significant role in a European project to develop a teacher training curriculum for physically active learning. Underpinning the curriculum was meta-synthesis on the qualitative evidence on the implementation of PAL and interviews with global PAL researchers, teacher trainers and teachers.

The projects contribute to the significant body of international literature on the impact and implementation of physically active learning. Moving forward, CAER will work with local, national and international teacher training partners to develop virtual and face-to-face PAL training courses for student teachers and qualified teachers.

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Fundamental Research

Core Science

Fundamental Research

Discovery and Design

Implement in schools


Trials and Assessment


Large Randomised Controlled Trial


Regional Rollout


Evidence-based Policy

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