Health Promotion In School

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Health Promotion In School
Health Promotion In School

Video: Health Promotion In School

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Video: An Introduction to Health Promotion and the Ottawa charter 2023, January
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Health promotion in school

Children spend a significant amount of their time in school. The school environment is accordingly formative for them. School is not only a place where children and young people live, learn and work, but also a workplace - for teachers and administrative staff, among others. The school is an important area of ​​health promotion. School influences the health of the people who stay in it…

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  • Continue reading
  • more on the subject
  • Advice, downloads & tools
  • What is school health promotion?
  • Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion
  • Relationship and behavior
  • School habitat
  • Goals of school health promotion
  • Make school healthy
  • Change together
  • Information, projects and funding

What is school health promotion?

According to the Ottawa Charter, health promotion is a process that should enable all people to have a greater degree of self-determination about their health and thus enable them to strengthen their health. Health promotion looks at health from a holistic perspective and encompasses physical, mental and social health. All those involved in the “Lebenswelt Schule” should be made aware of health issues and encouraged to deal responsibly with their own health and that of others. Health promotion supports good conditions for growing up, promotes the resources and health skills of children and adolescents and thus also influences the later health behavior of adults.

School can therefore contribute to the healthy development of pupils - for example through a healthy school buffet - but also to a healthy working atmosphere for teachers, administrative staff and much more.

Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion

The WHO Ottawa Charter (1986) formulated guidelines for health promotion. They are considered to be important basic work in the field of health promotion. The participating states commit themselves to activities in five essential fields of action (development of a health-promoting overall policy, health-promoting living environments, support of health-related community actions, development of personal skills, reorientation of health services). Austria also participates in the implementation of the Ottawa Charter - among other things through health promotion in schools.

For more information on the Ottawa Charter, visit:

  • www.fgoe.org
  • www.euro.who.int

Relationship and behavior

In order to achieve a healthy school, changes in personal behavior as well as changes in the conditions in schools as well as political measures are necessary. School health promotion creates framework conditions that enable a healthy school and increases the health skills of individuals.

It includes information on risky health behavior and health issues, such as those conveyed through health education in material classes, biology classes or gymnastics lessons. It deals with influencing the behavior of the individual. School health promotion is more than health education. It also influences the conditions, such as the teaching and learning processes, the design of the classroom or the provision of breaks and lunchtime meals in schools.

School habitat

Health promoting school follows, among other things, the so-called setting approach (also: Lebenswelt approach, organization-wide approach), one of the core strategies of health promotion. This focuses on areas of life, systems and organizations in which people spend a large part of their lives and which influence the health of individuals with their social structure and with their organizational structure and culture.

A large part of the population can be reached over many years via the school setting. Knowledge, attitudes and behavior in dealing with health and illness are already acquired in early childhood. Even if “peer groups” have a strong influence in adolescence, the school setting offers good communication opportunities and a protected learning environment in which new skills can be learned and practiced. School experiences influence the development of self-esteem and health. School health promotion can also help to positively influence the consequences of unequal social health opportunities for children and adolescents, provided that the interventions take into account the needs and problems of disadvantaged target groups in a targeted manner.Taking gender differences into account and integrating gender-specific approaches is also one of the tasks of health promotion.

Goals of school health promotion

Various measures are linked to one another in school health promotion. In the “healthy school”, the setting approach as well as individual persons or groups and their needs are taken into account. Objectives include:

  • Designing schools as a health-promoting living environment (and working environment) - with the involvement of all those involved in everyday school life (such as pupils, teachers, school doctors, school psychologists, school attendants and parents).
  • To promote the personal skills and performance potential of the students with regard to health-conscious, independent action and knowledge - so that they are able to take their health into their own hands.
  • Build a network between schools and the regional environment.
  • To promote communicative and cooperative competences of teachers, parents and students (e.g. dealing with school stress, promoting self-esteem, independence, teamwork and communication skills, etc.).
  • Documenting and disseminating innovative projects and measures - a health- promoting school sets targeted activities and carries them out in a coordinated manner, coordinating projects and measures.

Make school healthy

In order to make a school healthy, various measures are necessary - at the political level, in the school organization and in the personal sphere. Everyone can also contribute to a healthy or healthier school and work with others to create one.

Health promotion in school involves everyone. Everyone, that is, those whose everyday life affects the school, i.e. pupils, teachers, parents, but also school doctors, school psychologists, school attendants, cleaning staff and many more. External experts (e.g. from the regional health insurance funds - school service point) are recommended to accompany the process.

Change together

A wide variety of changes may be necessary for a “healthy school” - e.g. a different design of the classrooms and / or the break rooms. Rethinking and changing existing measures and coordinating various activities can also contribute to a healthy school (e.g. through project management, quality development, etc.)

It is particularly important that the school management and teaching staff stand behind school health promotion. Health promotion teams and health promotion coordinators can drive implementation of the measures. In particular, the support and training of the school leaders and teachers is essential for their own well-being, but also the optimal care and support of the children.

It is also helpful on the way to a healthy school if health promotion is anchored in the school program / school profile and integrated into the processes of school quality development.

Information, projects and funding

Funding for health-promoting projects can be requested from various offices. In most cases, certain criteria must be met for this. You can get information from the respective providers / agencies or on their websites - as well as advice, downloads and tools.

Further education and training in the field of health promotion can be found on the website of Fonds Gesundes Österreich (educational network).

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