The intervention objectives of the project are to improve pupils’ diet, physical activity, wellbeing and social capital through developing their action competence and promoting a healthy school environment. The target group is Grade 5 and 6, pupils (aged 10-13).
The intervention was designed according to the health promoting school approach with three components: A health education component integrated into Danish, Maths and Sciences; a parental support component and a school environment component. The Democratic Health Education with strong focus on pupils’ participation guided the educational program and material following the IVAC model: Investigation, Vision, Action & Change. The programs IMOVE and IEAT were part of the Investigation phase, followed by a Vision Workshop, and finally an Action & Change phase.
Three sets of objectives in The We Act project
- To promote children's health, particularly with a focus on physical activity, diet, social capital and wellbeing
- To develop children’s health and action competences as well as promoting a healthy school environment
Development objectives on health education tools
- To develop health education tools/materials, which are inspired by the democratic health education perspective, the IVAC methodology and integrated into the curriculum.
- To disseminate knowledge of the developed materials nationally.
- To investigate the children’s perspective on their participation in We Act as health education process.
- To evaluate the implementation of We Act according to the proposed in Teacher Guides in order to inform the interpretation and understanding of intervention outcomes.
- To evaluate the effect of the We Act intervention on children’s physical activity, dietary intake well-being and social capital
Design, methods and data
A quasi-experimental study design with 4 intervention schools from 4 different municipalities and 4 matched control schools. Mixed methods are used to collect data: Questionnaire to pupils, pedometer measurement and a photo-measurement of pupils’ lunch meal. Focus group interviews with pupils. Questionnaires to parents, maths and Danish teachers. Interviews with school principals and teachers. Field observation of health education lessons.
IMOVE – Learning on physical activity in maths using step counters
This material was developed, tested and evaluated in a prior research project and is part of the We Act material.
IEAT – Learning on food and meals and The We Act Vision Workshop, Action & Change
This material is developed and tested as part of We Act – Together for Health. It is accessible in Danish in the test version which will be adjusted according to the evaluation results from the We Act process evaluation. Aim
- To promote school children's health and action competence, particularly with a focus on physical activity, diet, social capital and wellbeing
- To develop participatory health education material suitable for curriculum-integration in other subjects to promote pupils' health, action competences and a healthy school environment.
- The City of Copenhagen, Child and Youth Administration (on IMOVE).
- The Technical University of Denmark, National Food Institute (on IEAT and We Act – Together for health).
LinksBonde AH & Bruselius-Jensen M. (2017). Is it feasible to use students' self-reported step data in a local school policy process? Health Behavior and Policy Review. 4(6):531-538. DOI:
Bruselius-Jensen M, Bonde, AH, Christensen JH. (2017) Promoting health literacy in the classroom.
Bruselius-Jensen et al. (2014). Pedometers and participatory school-based health education – an exploratory study.