This study examines the immediate and chronic effects of physical activity (PA) breaks on reading fluency. While many teachers recognize the value of PA for increasing engagement and focus (getting the wiggles out) in academic endeavors, these results reveal increases in academic achievement in reading fluency are also possible.This study examines 384 second and third grade students with low income backgrounds from the Rocky Mountain region. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to examine the effects of chronic and acute brain breaks via GoNoodle© (McQuigg, 2013) on reading fluency and physical activity (steps). Between group differences were further examined using a series of Bonferroni adjusted one-way ANOVAs. A significant acute main effect was evident for (a), and (b) WR (F(1, 380) = 14.54, p < .001). Also, there was a trend toward a significant acute main effect on WPM (F(1, 380) = 4.02, p = .046) and chronic effects on WPM (F(1,380 = 3.13, p = .078) and accuracy (F(1, 380) = 4.45, p = .036).Correlational analysis reveals relationships among selected variables were in the anticipated direction. Analysis reveals significant, positive correlations between free and reduced lunch (FRL) status and reading fluency scores. Moving off free and reduced lunch status is related to small to moderately higher fluency scores: WPM (r = .34), accuracy (r = .14), WR (r = .22), and WIDA (r = .35). Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) fluency indices show strong positive correlations among themselves and share significant and strongly positive correlations with WIDA scores. Data suggests that higher SES are positively related to higher levels of reading fluency on both the DIBELS and WIDA measures. Also, as anticipated, the DIBELS and WIDA appear to share a strong relationship in measuring reading fluency.In today's educational landscape of high stakes testing perhaps the value of frequent PA breaks such as GoNoodle© have merit. Reading fluency (WPM, accuracy, and WR) and PA are linked and PA has been found to have a positive impact on the reading culture in the classroom.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Teacher Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





reading, fluency, physical activity, brain breaks, GoNoodle©



Included in

Education Commons