Moving maths

The effects of physically active math lessons on children’s learning outcomes, school engagement, motivation, and motor skills

Background and aims

This multidiscipline study aims to uncover the optimal ways to enhance learning via physical activity. The present study determines both acute and long-term the effects of physically active math lessons on learning outcomes, cognitive functions, affective school engagement, learning motivation, and motor skills.

Further, we examine the possible mediating mechanisms responsible for the positive effects of physical activity on learning. This study will respond to the societal need for developing new ways of pedagogical integration by providing practical materials to integrate physical activity into academic lessons in ways that support learning.


The three groups exposed to different teaching methods during math lessons are compared:

  1. Math lessons in which physical activity is integrated into learning goals
  2. Math lessons with breaks, including physical activity not related to learning goals
  3. Typical math lessons without physical activity.


  • University of Jyväskylä, Department of Teacher Education & Department of Education
  • Northeastern University, Boston, Department of Psychology and Department of Health Sciences
  • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Teacher Education and Sports
  • Niilo Mäki Institute
  • The Finnish Schools on the Move programme


Ministry of Education and Culture



More information

Tammelin Tuija

Research director

Phone 040 024 7998

Syväoja Heidi

Researcher (on paternity leave)