School in Motion (ScIM)

Physical activity is associated with physical health benefits among children and youth. A growing body of literature suggest a relationship between physical activity and academic performance. Even though some studies have reported relationship, the literature has not reached consensus. To date, there are no comprehensive studies examining the effect of increased physical activity on academic performance among adolescents.


Formal title

School in Motion (ScIM)


The purpose of the ScIM study is to conduct a randomized controlled trial with increased physical activity and physical education lessons, and to evaluate the effect of the intervention on physical health, mental health and academic performance among Norwegian adolescents.


The ScIM study will include about 3000 students from 30 lower secondary school in Norway. Twentytwo school will be randomized to the intervention group. The intervention group will be further randomized into on of two intervention model. The "Active Learning" (model 1) consist of three components each week: 1) physical education (60 minutes), 2) physical active learning (30 min), 3) physical activity (30 minutes). The other model, "Don't worry – Be happy" (model 2), is embedded in a different theoretical framework and consist of two components during a week; 1) 60 min physical education lessons (Don't worry-lessons), and 2) 60 min physical activity (Be happy-lessons). In the "Be happy" lessons the adolescents created activity groups based on their interests (for instance dance, soccer, parkour, cycling, running, basketball). The groups could include students from all classes in the 9th grade. In the "Don't worry" lessons the adolescents continued the same type of activity as in the "Be happy" lesson, but only with students within their own class. The students in the intervention schools performed 120-130 min more physical activity each week compared to the students in the control schools.

All adolescents will be tested at baseline and post intervention. They were tested on selected variables related to physical health (physical activity, muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and anthropometry), mental health (general mental health, quality of life, self-perception), academic performance and learning environment. We also performed qualitative interviews with students, teachers and leaders at the intervention schools