Danish ‘add-in’ school-based health promotion: Integrating health in curriculum time

Peter Bentsen, Ane Høstgaard Bonde, Mikkel Bo Schneller, Dina Danielsen, Maria Bruselius-Jensen, Jens Aagaard-Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


Schools provide an important setting for health promotion and health education. In countries where health education is not a specific subject, it is typically undertaken by teachers in health-integrating subjects such as biology, home economics or physical education. More ambitious and holistic frameworks and whole school approaches such as health promoting schools have been considered best practice for the past three decades. Recently, more attention has been given to policy initiatives integrating health activities into school curriculum time. This paper discusses potentials and challenges of school-based health promotion applying an ‘add-in’ approach, that integrates health activities into teachers’ curricular obligations without taking time away from them, based on a presentation of three Danish cases. This may serve as a supplement to health promotion activities that have been initiated over and above the day-to-day teaching (add-on). We contend that an ‘add-in’ approach to school health promotion provides a potential win–win situation where both health and core education stand to gain; makes it possible to reach a wider range of schools; mobilizes additional resources for health promotion; and leads to more sustainable activities. However, potential limitations including not addressing structural aspects of health promotion and reliance on a relatively limited evidence base should also be considered.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHealth Promotion International
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)e70-e77
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.


  • education
  • health
  • schools
  • structural interventions
  • health promotion
  • health education


Dive into the research topics of 'Danish ‘add-in’ school-based health promotion: Integrating health in curriculum time'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this