Pulse for learning and health

A pragmatic research study about everyday physical activity on the school curriculum. The eight municipalities participating in the study have introduced or are going to introduce heart rate-increasing physical activity into the curriculum for middle pupils in years four through nine (in one or a few schools per municipality), in addition to the physical education subject. The heart rate-increasing activity (20 minutes in the pulse zone) takes place three times a week on days when students do not have normal physical education classes.

The purpose of the research project is to generate knowledge about experiences of and ideas about heart rate-increasing physical activity of a strong/aerobic nature in schools.


There has been a great deal of cutbacks in the subject of physical education, as the time allocated for physical education in the curriculum has been reduced in Sweden. At the same time, there is evidence that physical activity drastically decreases down during early adolescence.

The positive health benefits of physical activity are well documented, and research also shows that there is a positive correlation between physical exercise/fitness and cognitive/academic performance of children and young people, including an increase in concentration.

Recent research shows that it is primarily systematic exercise programs of a strong/aerobic nature (heart rate-increasing activity) that is important for children to be able to improve memory and meet challenges both inside and outside of the classroom. In other words, it is not everyday physical activity, which we may spend 60 minutes on per day, that has been shown to provide an effect. However, there is extremely limited knowledge regarding the students and teachers’ experiences of increased physical activity, and nothing regarding heart rate-increasing activity. Knowledge of students and teachers’ experiences of the project is of great importance, as it provides insight into both the conditions and the perceived obstacles and opportunities in the project.

About the project


Cooperation partners:

  • FoUrum utbildning, Municipal Development, Jönköpings County