Health & academic performance with happy children (HAPCH)

Trajanje projekta: 1.9.2020 – 31.8.2023

Vodja projekta: dr. Goran Gumze

Financer: Erasmus+, KA2 Strateška partnerstva

Kratka vsebina projekta:

The Health and Academic Performance with Happy Children (HAPHC) study aims to improve learning as well as promote health and integrate the physical activity into regular curricula through internationally and transculturally transferable PAAC materials and procedures developed in HAPHC project. By replacing theoretical activities with a school-based physical activity program within the curriculum (PAAC) the children will attend PA while learning their curriculum. Using schools as an intervention arena reaches all socioeconomic layers with the potential of reducing inequality in health. Specifically, the project will evaluate the effects of a large scale longitudinal intervention. The focus is the following thematic areas, i)learning and cognition, ii) nutrition and growth, including obesity, iii) physical activity and physical health, iv) mental health and quality of life. Both gender pupils will perform the same PAAC learning through the project. This will empower girls and boys from different socio-economic, cultural and health status settings and contexts to perform physical activity while learning. About equal number of women and men are represented among the research and teaching staff. This application adheres well to the Erasmus+ program plan’s main aim to improve public health, quality of life and reduce social and cultural inequality in health. HAPHC emphasizes the prioritized thematic areas given in the call for development, implementation and evaluation the effect of health promoting and academic enhancement. The aim is to promote public health within physical activity, inactivity, diet and prevention of non-communicable diseases among children throughout elementary schools. The project includes partners from different sectors, such as academia, municipality and public health service and thereby creates a cross-sectional collaborative network of highly skilled expertise in an Pan-European study. The intervention holds the potential for implementation at an international level based on scientific evidence, and the project as a whole will additionally provide important knowledge to the literature. HAPHC will focus on a new pedagogical approach, PAAC, on a large scale implementation in elementary schools across four European countries: Norway, Austria, Slovenia and Belgium. some schools have been selected and recruited in preparation phase and are already part of the consortium. There is a global need for public efforts to halt the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity among children as well as other non-communicable diseases. This study will draw attention from policy makers, media, teachers, parents and children to improve and promote better health among children in Europe. There is a need to promote health at an early age to provide the best possibilities to each individual for a healthy and productive life, as well as for society to have healthy, hardworking citizens that may contribute to building society. There is also the need to change the sedentary learning practices that are not giving best learning and health results. The study’s thematic areas allow the investigation of different factors relation to learning as well as the others secondary health outcomes. Mental health among children and adolescents has for good reason been put high on the political agenda though its important role for future health and productivity.

This project is in accordance with the need for population-based longitudinal research on mental health, including assessment of risk factors that have the potential to be strengthened or changed to inform intervention strategies designed to promote positive development and well-being in children and integration among children. Also, the study evaluates possible effects on mental health from a school based longitudinal intervention. The study brings together academics from different fields and countries of medical and health science, as well as in education fields, in a multidisciplinary study to mutual benefit. Based on the experience from the HOPP-study, transfer of knowledge as to how to educate children in a more fun and intuitive is one of the fundamental plans in the project. The positive effects on children should be implemented in universities and colleges who educate teachers in all grades. A teacher is already an educater and an upbringer of children, learning them to behave take care of themselves in a coalision with parents. Including a health related dimension to teaching, not only as an oral transfer of information, but an active part of a health promoting program for children seem as a natural next step against the existing and future health problems. All this without giving poorer education. The current project aims to, along with the PAAC to children, establish educational program and practice for teachers and universities which would like to learn more about the program and incorporate it into the curriculum for teachers at an university level.

Kontakt: Projekta pisarna AMEU: tel. št.: 059 333 075 ali email: ali