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Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology


Most college students sit 14 hours per week on average, excluding sedentary study time. Researchers observing workplace and elementary school settings with active workstations to combat sedentary behavior have shown enhanced cognition without distraction. Until now, incorporating active workstations in college classroom settings remained relatively unexplored. This study’s purpose was to assess academic performance using in-class stationary cycle desks during a semester-long lecture course. Twenty-one college students (19–24 years) enrolled in a lecture course volunteered and were split into traditional sit (SIT) and stationary cycle (CYC) groups randomly, matched on a calculated factor equal to a physical activity (PA) score (0–680) multiplied by grade point average (GPA; 4.0 scale). CYC pedaled a prescribed rate of perceived exertion (RPE) of less than 2 out of 10 during a 50-min lecture, 3 × week for 12 weeks. CYC averaged 42 min, 7.9 miles, and 1.7 RPE during class throughout the semester. No significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between CYC and SIT on in-class test scores or overall course grades. Although statistically insignificant, CYC had higher mean test scores and overall course grades vs. SIT (i.e., B+ vs. B, respectively). Low intensity cycling during a college lecture course maintained student academic performance and possibly reduced weekly sedentary behavior time.

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© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( Publisher’s version of record:

Publication Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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