Public defence of doctoral thesis | Physical activity, mental health and academic achievement in adolescents | Ingeborg Barth Vedøy, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, December 1, 2021


Ingeborg Barth Vedøy is a PhD fellow at the Department of Sports Medicine at NIH. \Photo: INN

On Wednesday, December 1, 2021, at 10:15, Ingeborg Barth Vedøy will present and defend her dissertation Physical activity, mental health and academic achievement in adolescents. A longitudinal study exploring the role of physical activity on dimensions of mental health and academic achievement in Norwegian adolescents at lower secondary school at the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (NIH), in Auditorium Innsikt.

Good mental health and academic achievement during adolescence serve as important determinants of future health and well-being. Physical activity has been identified as a factor that may promote both mental health and academic achievement among young people. However, there is a need to explore these associations longitudinally.

This study has followed 600 adolescents annually throughout their three years of lower secondary school exploring their physical activity level, mental health and academic achievements. The overall results show no associations between physical activity and academic achievement among the participants. No associations between physical activity or sedentary behaviour and mental health problems were found either. Nevertheless, there seems to be a positive association between sedentary behaviour and mental well-being among boys, and between physical activity and mental well-being among girls.

The overall results show no associations between physical activity and academic achievement among the participants.

These results provide some weight to the possibility that physical activity may relate differently to diverse indicators of mental health, and that the determinants of mental health problems and how well adolescents do at school may lie beyond the amount and intensity of physical activity.

Most important findings:

      • No associations between physical activity level and mental health problems among adolescents
      • No associations between physical activity level and academic achievement among adolescents
      • Small associations between physical activity level and affirmative mental health; mental well-being and some indicators of self-esteem, especially among girls
      • A positive association between an increase in sedentary behaviour and mental well-being among boys


Review Committee

The review committee consists of Frank Abrahamsen, Associate professor, NIH (chair); Russel Jago, Professor, University of Bristol; and Anna Bugge, Docent, University College Copenhagen.

Supervisors

Ingeborg Barth Vedøy’s main supervisor has been Sigmund Alfred Anderssen, Professor, NIH; Associate Professors Knut Ragnvald Skulberg and Hege Eikeland Tjomsland, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, have been assistant supervisors.

Program

10:15-11:00 Trial lecture (topic to be announced)
13:00-16:00 Public defence of dissertation

General Information

The event is open to everyone in situ, and streamed on YouTube as well.


 

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