Children can learn about health via a school sports programme

19 March 2021

Researchers assessed a ‘health education through football’ programme for children aged 10 to 12 in Denmark, looking at the effects on health knowledge and enjoyment levels.

The twice-weekly 45-minute ‘11 for Health in Denmark’ programme includes health education, football drills and small-sided games. More than 3000 Danish school children (49% girls) from a total 154 schools took part in the analysis, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The programme proved enjoyable for girls and boys, and improved health knowledge on hygiene, nutrition, physical activity and wellbeing by as much as 13.9%.

Lead author Malte Nejst Larsen said: ‘The idea that children learn best if they can connect the learning to relevant activities is not new, but it’s rare for such large studies to be carried out in real-world schools – and with such unambiguous results.’

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