Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award


Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project


Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Katherine Farrell

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks


It is clear that physical activity affects the body and helps us to become healthy and physically fit, but there is an increasing amount of research being done suggesting that the benefits of physical activity stretch much farther than building and toning muscles. During physical activity, the brain is influenced in ways that have the potential to improve academic success among elementary school students. The purpose of our thesis was to analyze the research that has been done on the effects of physical activity on the brain by creating this literature review that helps determine how physical activity can be utilized in the education system. We then took that information and compared it to our theories so that we could better understand where current issues lay and how they might be addressed as we enter the teaching profession. Based on our research, we developed a pedagogical theory of best practice which we can now put to use in our future teaching careers. To conclude this thesis, we have included ways for teachers to implement our findings through activities such as brain breaks, teaching strategies and school wide fitness programs, so that our research benefits more than just our own classrooms. Our goal is to impact the lives of as many students as we can, in the area of physical education.