Physical inactivity is a one of the leading health risk behaviours related to the global
epidemic of obesity and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart diseases. The increasing
number of young people being inactive is therefore discouraging. Within schools, increasing
attention has been paid to the health-promoting role of physical education, as many
youngsters from all social backgrounds experience school physical education for several
years. Unfortunately, evidence shows that physical education has so far made little effective
contribution to the promotion of lifelong engagement in physical activity.
The present grant proposal is part of an international and cross-disciplinary research
program on motivational dynamics in physical education, which brings together researchers in
motivational psychology, public health and sport pedagogy to investigate how physical
education teachers can more effectively promote lifelong engagement in physical activity. A
novel approach towards studying motivational dynamics in physical education is taken by
observing teaching behaviours in search of evidence on effective pedagogies for health-related
physical education. By conducting a cross-cultural studies involving different educational
tracks, concrete, real-life examples of how teacher need support gets manifested across
countries and educational tracks will be identified.