What the Research Says

What is DPA?

DPA Fidelity & Barriers

School boards must ensure that all elementary school students have a minimum of 20 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each school day during instructional time.

Research suggests only 50% of teachers are

implementing DPA as of 2015.

What are the benefits of classroom physical activity?

What are the benefits of physical activity for children & youth?

  • Improves student concentration and ability to stay on-task
  • Reduces disruptive behaviour
  • Improves motivation and engagement
  • Improves academic performance (higher grades and test scores)
  • Increases amount of daily physical activity
  • Improves thinking and cognition
  • Facilitates weight management
  • Reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers
  • Strengthens bones and muscles
  • Increases your chances of living longer
  • Helps manage chronic health conditions



Exercise Modifications

Jumping Jacks

Push Ups

Sit Ups


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Jumping Jack Arms

Seated Chest Press

Seated Chest to knees

Touch Toes and Touch SKy



High Knees


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Seated Elbows to Knees

Side Stretch

Reach Up and Down (Alternating Arms)

Running Arms


Toe touches

Leg Kicks


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Reach up and Down (both arms)

Seated Knee touches

Arm Punches


General Adaptations

  • If an activity heavily requires the use of legs and the student is chair bound, encourage them to do just the upper body movements and/or upper body modifications (such as the ones suggested above)
  • Encourage students to go at their own pace and take frequent breaks
  • For students with special education needs, exercises should be adapted in accordance with accommodations / modifications outlines in their Individual Education Plans

Additional Links

Here is a compilation of popular YouTube channels and websites to help your students get moving!


Research & INfo

more information