The effects of classroom-based dynamic seating interventions on academic outcomes in youth: A systematic review


The purpose of this systematic review was to synthesize and evaluate the literature on the effects of classroom-based dynamic seating interventions on academic-related outcomes, among school-aged children and adolescents. A secondary aim was to examine intervention effects on students' sedentary behavior and physical activity levels. In September 2017, four electronic databases (PsycINFO, PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science) were searched and a total of 5,138 titles and abstracts were reviewed. Studies that examined the association between a classroom-based dynamic seating intervention and at least one academic-related outcome in school-aged children or adolescents were included. A best-evidence synthesis and narrative approach was implemented to synthesize the evidence. Thirteen studies published between 2003 and 2017 were identified that met the inclusion criteria for the review. Results suggest there is some evidence that classroom-based dynamic seating interventions may have positive effects on the in-seat behavior, academic engagement, and attention of school aged-children and adolescents, predominantly those with attention difficulties. It is currently unclear whether dynamic seating has positive effects on students' on-task behavior, disruptive behavior, memory, concentration, or academic achievement. No intervention was found to have a detrimental effect on academic-related outcomes. The findings come from low to moderate quality studies (M = 60.62%; SD = 10.44). Classroom-based dynamic seating may be a simple, effective health strategy to reduce students' static sitting time without compromising student learning and academic performance. The current interventions need to be replicated with larger, adequately powered RCT designs, valid and reliable outcome measures, and assessment of intervention fidelity.