Teachers' Physical Activity: A Necessity for Stability of Schools' Culture During the COVID-19 Pandemic





School Culture, Online Education, Physical Activity, Mental Health, COVID-19 Pandemic


The recent COVID-19 outbreak has caused confusion and uncertainty to many educational organizations worldwide, forcing school leaders to weave through many school priorities. As schools take on online teaching, teachers were compelled to sit on their chairs, interacting with students using the screens for more than four hours every day. This has resulted in a decrease in physical activity, affecting their health and quality of teaching. Unfortunately, the dichotomy is as teachers care for their students' physical and mental health, teachers' physical well-being is not a priority in most schools' culture during this pandemic.


This paper aims to address this gap in teacher's lack of Physical Activity, which is necessary to help stabilize the school culture during this pandemic. It will highlight school leaders' critical role in promoting physical well-being as part of the school culture.  Moreover, it will discuss the benefits of teachers staying active, and it will also present possible ways to foster a culture geared toward teachers' involvement in physical activities.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...

Author Biographies

Gerby Parra, University of Santo Tomas

Graduate School, Tagaytay Montessori School

Emily Tan, University of Santo Tomas

Graduate School, Tagaytay Montessori School


Brand, R., Timme, S., & Nosrat, S. (2020). When Pandemic Hits: Exercise Frequency and Subjective Well-Being During COVID-19 Pandemic. Front. Psychol., 11(570567). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.570567

Barry, M. M., Clarke, A. M., & Dowling, K. (2017). Promoting social and emotional well-being in schools. Health Education, 117 (5), 434-451, https://doi.org/10.1108/HE-11-2016-0057

(PDF) Promoting social and emotional well-being in schools. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/317834703_Promoting_social_and_emotional_well-being_in_schools [accessed Feb 20 2021].

Buskila, Y., & Chen-Levi, T. (2021). The Role of Authentic School Leaders in Promoting Teachers' Well-Being: Perceptions of Israeli Teachers. ATHENS JOURNAL OF EDUCATION, 8(2), 161–180. https://doi.org/10.30958/aje.8-2-3

Cai, R., & Wang, Q. (2020). A Six-Step Online Teaching Method Based on Protocol-Guided Learning during the COVID-19 Epidemic: A Case Study of the First Middle School Teaching Practice in Changyuan City, Henan Province, China. Best Evidence of Chinese Education, 4(2), 529–534. https://doi.org/10.15354/bece.20.rp010

Chen, P., Mao, L., Nassis, G. P., Harmer, P., Ainsworth, B. E., & Li, F. (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): The need to maintain regular physical activity while taking precautions. Journal of port and Health Science, 9(2), 103–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jshs.2020.02.001

Confeld, S. (2016). (dissertation). The Importance of a Positive School Culture. Alfred Adler. Retrieved from https://alfredadler.edu/sites/default/files/Confeld%20MP%202016.pdf

Fleming, N. (2020, May 8). Curbing Teacher Burnout During the Pandemic. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/article/curbing-teacher-burnout-during-pandemic.

Fröberg, A. (2020). The COVID-19 pandemic: The importance of physical activity among faculty members. Journal of American College Health DOI:10.1080/07448481.2020.1817037

Gordon, W. J., Landman, A., Zhang, H., & Bates, D. W. (2020). Beyond validation: getting health apps into clinical practice. Npj Digital Medicine, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-019-0212-z

Gruenert, S., & Whitaker, T. (2015). School culture rewired: How to define, assess and transform it. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Hall, G., Laddu, D. R., Phillips, S. A., Lavie, C. J., & Arena, R. (2020). A tale of two pandemics: how will COVID-19 and global trends in physical inactivity and sedentary behavior affect one another? Prog. Cardiovasc. Dis.doi: 10.1016/j.pcad.2020.04.005. [Epub ahead of print].

Heffernan, A., & Wilkinson, J. (2020). Educational leadership and policy on rapidly shifting ground. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 52(2), 163-164. DOI: 10.1080/00220620.2020.1761305

Jan, A. (2020, May 5). Online Teaching Practices During COVID-19: An Observation Case Study. SSRN. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3584409.

Katzmarzyk, P. T., Powell, K. E., Jakicic, J. M., Troiano, R. P., Piercy, K., and Tennant, B. (2019). Sedentary behavior and health: update from the 2018 physical activity guidelines advisory committee. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., 51, 1227–1241. DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001935

Klapproth, F., Federkeil, L., Heinschke, F., & Jungmann, T. (2020). Teachers' experiences of stress and their coping strategies during COVID - 19 induced distance teaching. Journal of Pedagogical Research, 4(4), 444–452. https://doi.org/10.33902/jpr.2020062805

Malkus, N., Christensen, C., & West, L. (2020, March 31). School District Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Round 1, Districts' Initial Responses. American Enterprise Institute. https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED606200.

McClintok, E. (2021, January 21). 10 Mental Health Tips for Teachers During COVID-19. EVERFI. https://everfi.com/blog/k-12/10-ways-educators-can-support-their-mental-health/.

Messano, F., Atwood, J., & Childress, S. (2020, September 22). How Schools Are Meeting Social-Emotional Needs During the Pandemic. Greater Good Magazine. https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_schools_are_meeting_social_emotional_needs_during_the_pandemic.

Mohamed, A. A., & Alawna, M. (2020). Role of increasing the aerobic capacity on improving the function of immune and respiratory systems in patients with coronavirus (COVID-19): A review. Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews, 14(4), 489–496. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dsx.2020.04.038

Niessen, C., Mäder, I., Stride, C., & Jimmieson, N. L. (2017). Thriving when exhausted: The role of perceived transformational leadership. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 103, 41–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvb.2017.07.012

Park, S. E. (2020). Epidemiology, virology, and clinical features of severe acute respiratory syndrome -coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2; Coronavirus Disease-19). Clin. Exp. Pediatr., 63, 119–124. DOI: 10.3345/cep.2020.00493

Powell, K. E., Paluch, A. E., & Blair, S. N. (2011). Physical Activity for Health: What Kind? How Much? How Intense? On Top of What? Annual Review of Public Health, 32(1), 349–365. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-publhealth-031210-101151

Rutkowska, A., Kacperak, K., Rutkowski, S., Cacciante, L., Kiper, P., & Szczegielniak, J. (2021). The Impact of Isolation Due to COVID-19 on Physical Activity Levels in Adult Students. Sustainability, 13(2), 446. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13020446

Trinidad, J. E. (2021). Equity, engagement, and health: school organisational issues and priorities during COVID-19. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 53(1), 67-80, DOI: 10.1080/00220620.2020.1858764

WHO. (2021). Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Situational Updates. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports.

WHO. (2020a, November 26). Physical activity. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity.

WHO. (2020b). Be Active During COVID-19. Geneva: World Health Organization. Available online at: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/news/q-a-detail/beactive-during-covid-19

WHO. (2020c, March 27). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Staying active. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/coronavirus-disease-covid-19-staying-active.

Wu, X. Y., Han, L. H., Zhang, J. H., Luo, S., Hu, J. W., & Sun, K. (2017). The influence of physical activity, sedentary behavior on health-related quality of life among the general population of children and adolescents: A systematic review. PLOS ONE, 12(11). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187668

Zhou, L., Wu, S., Zhou, M., & Li, F. (2020). 'School's Out, But Class' On', The Largest Online Education in the World Today: Taking China's Practical Exploration During The COVID-19 Epidemic Prevention and Control As an Example. Best Evid Chin Edu 2020, 4(2), 501–519. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3555520



DOI: 10.31686/ijier.vol9.iss4.3039

How to Cite

Parra, G., & Tan, E. (2021). Teachers’ Physical Activity: A Necessity for Stability of Schools’ Culture During the COVID-19 Pandemic. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 9(4), 183–191. https://doi.org/10.31686/ijier.vol9.iss4.3039
Received 2021-03-07
Accepted 2021-03-22
Published 2021-04-01