Students thrive when physically active during their school-day

Both students and teachers say that physical and mental health has improved, according to research project.

A recent study conducted at Tastaveden middle school, by the University of Stavanger, has monitored the effects of 30 minutes of mandatory physical activity. The 30 minute activity has been organized by teachers since 2013 with a frequency of 3 times a week. These activities are an addition to the regular two hours of physical activity.

According to an article at,  previous research into this field shows that the results are optimal when initiated at school by the teachers. Inspired by similar projects at Søndre Land and Lillesand middle schools, physical activity was chosen as a focus area.

Interviews have been conducted with both students and teachers and the results show that 90-95 percent of the students were very positive to the program. They felt the program has improved both physical and mental health.

Their feedback can be sorted into five categories:

  • Well-being - activities are fun
  • General health - Fresh air and everyone needs to be physically active
  • The social dimention - They get to know each other and they talk more amongts each other
  • Physical results - they have more energy and eat more
  • Psychological aspects - better concentration and a mental pause from other subjects

Although some students were negative to walking in poor weather, dodgeball, indoors bandy, badminton and skipping rope were on the oposite side of the scale. 73 percent of the students felt that the class had imprioved as a group.

90 percent of teachers felt that students enjoyed better days at school, yet 40 percent of the teachers were uncomfortable with the tasks assigned to them.

Researchers point to variation, the option to choose activities, feelings of mastery and social adhearence as possible explanations to the positive feedback.

To read more about the project, click this link.

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