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‘Pulse for learning and health [PuLH]’ in primary school; pupil’s experiences

Lindgren, Eva-Carin, Haraldsson, Katarina, Håman, Linn

Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)


To improve academic performance and health in schoolchildren, the program Pulse for learning and health [PuLH] in Sweden has introduced moderate to vigorous physical activities [MVPA] three times a week (á 30 minutes). The teachers used a child-centered coaching approach, which has the child’s best interests in mind and focused on having fun. The objective of this contribution is to describe what Swedish pupils convey, using their own voices, about their experiences of participating in the school-based program PuLH. We have taken on children’s perspectives in order to be able to understand the children’s own culture. Eight schools in the Region of Jönköping, Sweden, have implemented PuLH. In total, 73 pupils (34 girls, 39 boys, grades 4-9) were recruited through purposive sampling. Thirteen focus group interviews (n=71) and individual interviews (n=2) were carried out. An explorative design was employed, in which data were categorized using qualitative content analysis. The analysis resulted in four major themes, which we classify as ‘promotes academic performance’, ‘promotes a learning school environment’, ‘promotes health and well-being’, and ‘individual and structural barriers’. The pupils stated that they increased their working capacity, the classroom environment became more calm and peaceful, they got more cohesion and new friends, their needs and interest were in focus, they felt more alert and got in a better mood, they increased their physical competence, their habits became healthier and illness decreased. However, some of the pupils revealed individual and structural barriers, which reduced pleasure and motivation to participate in MVPA due to; poor planning and that they felt time pressure, felt uncomfortable showing their bodies and digital challenges. We recommend that schools take pupils’ interests and needs into consideration when planning for and implementing MVPA activities and not use MVPA as a 'quick fix' i.e. to solve complex problems regarding pupil's learning.

Citera: Lindgren, Eva-Carin, Haraldsson, Katarina & Håman, Linn, ‘Pulse for learning and health [PuLH]’ in primary school; pupil’s experiences, 2019