Our research in active schools covers incorporating more physical activity both within the classroom and outdoors, as well as on the school run. We also have a range of resources related to ensuring children and young people meet the UK physical activity guidelines.

Physically active learning in schools

NCSEM-EM researchers from three of our partner universities, Leicester, Loughborough and Nottingham, are investigating whether getting pupils to move around more in class could encourage them to sit less and improve their learning experience.

Find out more.

Forest schools

Loughborough University academics are researching how forest schools provide unique outdoor learning experiences that focus on nurturing understanding and respect for nature, allowing learners to develop confidence and self-esteem.

Find out more.

Active communting

The daily journey to and from school can be a great way to integrate physical activity into everyday life and research has shown that those who walk to school are more active in general throughout the day.

Find out more. 

The weight of responsibility: schools and the future of our children's health

Public lecture from Dr Lauren Sherar, Senior Lecturer in Physical Activity and Public Health at Loughborough University, on the present and future health of our children, with a specific focus on the role of physical activity and sedentary behaviour.

View a lecture capture of the talk here.

View our other public lectures.

Making Strides in Schools

In September 2016, the NCSEM hosted a one-day symposium to draw upon the growing interest and exposure of running programmes in primary schools across the UK and bring together key stakeholders from across sport, health, education and academic sectors.

The symposium shared collective knowledge and expertise about what works both in terms of expected outputs and implementation of running programmes in schools and what the future directions/needs are for effective roll-out and sustained implementation.

Read the full report.

Related resources

Evidence briefing

Our evidence briefing focusing on children and young people aged 5-18 looks at the available research evidence for the benefits of physical activity for this age group.

Download: Children and young people evidence briefing

Practice briefing

We have produced two practice briefings looking at practical strategies for promoting physical activity with children (aged 6-11) and young people (aged 11-18).

Download: Children - Practical strategies for promoting physical activity

Download: Young people - Practical strategies for promoting physical activity

Interpreting the physical activity guidelines

We have produced a booklet designed to assist those who work with children and young people to interpret the UK physical activity guidelines into appropriate messages.

Download: Interpreting the physical activity guidelines for children and young people