Elise Sijthoff

Elise Sijthoff
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Weerslag van Working Conference Wishes en de betekenis voor onderwijs

14 juni 2012

Elise Sijthoff

‘Children who get sufficient physical exercise are more stable, sociable, intelligent and creative.’ Vanuit dit statement werd op 24 april jongstleden een Working Conference georganiseerd door Wishes en Fysio Educatief. In deze bijdrage van Elise Sijthoff leest u quotes van enkele deelnemers en een overzicht van presentaties.

“Children who get sufficient physical exercise are more stable, sociable, intelligent and creative. Physical exercise is constantly decreasing in today’s society and in the current school system. As a result the development of children is slowing down significantly in many areas. It is our mission to place physical exercise high on the agenda of the educational system and at home by making schools, teachers and parents more aware of its importance.”

Hieronder volgen quotes van enkele sprekers.

Dr. Leena Paakkari
Researcher Health Education
Research Center for Health Promotion
University of Jyväskylä, Finland

“Health literacy as an educational phenomenon, that is, as something that can be learned. Hence it could be linked to the concept of academic performance. Paakkari sees HL as a competency that enables pupils to be literate about themselves, others and the broader context they are part of. Thus it is not merely something that focuses oneself but something that also enables a pupil to make sound health decisions that influence the others and the collective.

In her opinion, there are 5 core components of HL presented in this slide, and they are the ones that schools should first and foremost develop among the pupils. The components partly overlap, but through the separation she wants to highlight the main focus of each of the components and the critical differences between them.

5 core components:

1. Theoretical knowledge could be described as all-round education on health matters, such as factual knowledge related to a healthy diet. Gaining of factual knowledge rarely leads to changes in pupils’ health promoting actions, but it does form an important basis for the other components.

2. Practical knowledge or skills, refers to the ability to behave in a health promoting way, such as the ability to fill-up a healthy plate, seek out healthy knowledge and clearly communicate one’s ideas to other people. It is about putting theory into practice.

3. Critical thinking refers to the ability to NOT automatically accepting the information one has received. It is about evaluating sources and certainty of the knowledge, an about differentiating facts from the opinions.

4. Self-awareness refers to the ability to become aware of one’s own feelings, needs, values and attitudes, and how they are related to one’s ways of behaving. It is about linking health topics to one’s own life and building personal and independent meanings to various health matters.

5. Citizenship refers to ethical reflection skills, that is, to understand one’s rights and responsibilities, and to be aware of the effects of one’s actions and thoughts on others and the world at large. It is about the ability to take responsibility, to negotiate with others and to deal with difference and conflict.”


Ian Young
Health Promoting Schools
IUHPE, Scotland

“Physical activity also has positive effect on educational attainment. A study of Singh et al (2012) confirms this, but also suggested that there is a need for more work to be done to tease out the mechanisms and any possible dose relationships between activity and educational attainment.”


Dr. Amika Singh
Senior Researcher and Policy Advisor
VU Medical Center
VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands

“Physical activity decreases during adolescence. Also on schools there is a tendency to cut back physical education lessons in favour of subjects as languages or mathematics. The pressure to improve academic scores often leads to spending less time on being physically active.

However there are hypotheses that suggest that when you move, there is more oxygen and blood flow to your brains, there is an increased level of norepinephrine / endorphins, a reduction of stress and an improvement of mood. Also there is a social aspect: sports participation influences class room behaviour positively. Another hypothesis says that increased growth factors help to create new nerve cells and support synaptic plasticity.”


Brigitte Haider
Assistant of the President
European Parents Association (EPA), Austria

“The child is in the focus of all consideration. The child is surrounded by many different people: family, schools (teachers, social workers, etc), people from leisure activities, e.g. youth, arts and sport clubs and last but not least all their friends and peers.”



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