Physical Activities during School and Leisure

Children and young people's daily physical activity consists of several different types of games, sport and transport activities in different everyday settings such as, schools, sports clubs, and after school day-care.

This cluster examines these everyday contexts and the different norms, rules and resources for movement activities they contain, in order to improve them. The overall aim of the cluster is to create knowledge about what is important for both the amount of physical activity and the experience and lessons learned from them among children and young people.


One focus is how important social, cultural and psychological factors in interplay shape children and young people's movement activity.

The other focus is what impact various movement activities have for psychological and social factors such as learning, well-being, motivation, social relationships, citizenship and inclusion.


Main topics and target groups

Following the new school reform, the potentials and challenges associated with different contexts for children's movement activities in school and leisure time is examined. 

In PE there are, for example, major challenges involving sports unfamiliar children. Little knowledge exists about how the school reforms supportive hours and required 45 minutes of daily activity are performed at its best.

This is both in relation to the school's resources and opportunities for anchoring, and in relation to what would best support children's joy of movement, motivation, wellbeing, and learning.


Both dropouts from secondary education and physical inactivity are common issues among young people.

In the research group upper secondary schools and vocational schools are examined as contexts for physical activity and sport.

One focus is the use of sport as a method to strengthening social relationships and well-being and thus retention in education. It requires both examination of the potentials and problems related to PE as well as experimenting with possible ways of enhancing it.

Issues of importance to youth movement culture and activity in leisure time are also examined.


Research projects


A cluster randomized controlled trial of the efficacy and mechanisms of an education outside the classroom intervention on adolescents’ physical activity.

Recent research has indicated that a longer period of regular education outside the classroom (EOtC), has a positive effect on pupils’ academic motivation and social well-being in the class community. However, the previous large-scale studies have methodological shortcomings.

This study will investigate the EOtC induced effects on physical activity behaviour, well-being, and academic performance in an improved research design, which also allows for investigation of the particular mechanisms in EOtC that have effect.

Focus areas

  • To investigate, the efficacy of education outside the classroom five hours a week on adolescent’s physical activity behavior, academic motivation, well-being, and academic performance.
  • To investigate which pedagogical activities that cause the effects.

Funded by

Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Projekt period: 
15 June 2021 - 14 October 2026.

Data collection:
February 2022 - June 2023.

Read more about MOVEOUT.



Physical Activity, Learning and Social Relations in Danish Udeskole

The overall aim of the TEACHOUT project is to generate knowledge about the strengths and weaknesses of practicing udeskole compared to mainstream education under the framework of the new school reform.

Udeskole is a broad term referring to curriculum-based teaching outside of school in natural as well as cultural settings on a regular basis.

Funded by


Read more about TEACHOUT.


Members of research group

Name Title Phone E-mail
Adam Steen Malmkjær Rønlund PhD Student +4535330702 E-mail
Glen Nielsen Associate Professor +4535320869 E-mail
Glen Nielsen

Head of research group

Associate professor Glen Nielsen