Physical activity behavior and learning in higher education

Hui Qing Chim

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Extensive research has emphasized the health risks of prolonged sitting, yet sitting is the norm and expectation within the university. This PhD researcher’s first study found that students’ physical activity behaviour correlate with their class duration, with more hours of classes associated with more hours of sitting down. However, even without classes, the students still spent long durations sitting down, suggesting that the solution is not to reduce class hours, but to introduce a change within the university’s physical setting. After an extensive literature review, comparing sitting against light physical activity, this study found weak evidence to argue that either is better for the students’ learning. Finally, the study introduced standing tutorial group meetings, and compared these against traditional sitting tutorial group meetings. It was found that standing tutorial group meetings can be effective in improving the students’ physical activity behaviour, without affecting their learning performance.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Savelberg, Hans, Supervisor
  • Oude Egbrink, Mirjam, Supervisor
  • de Groot, R.H.M., Supervisor, External person
  • van Gerven, Pascal, Co-Supervisor
Award date30 Mar 2021
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464231564
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • activity monitoring
  • sedentary behaviour
  • light physical activity
  • university
  • youth
  • academic performance


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