Football to improve academic performance and mental health of school children
A football-based prevention program to improve mental health, social behavior and academic performance in children
Mental disorders severely impact the overall health and well-being of a person. Approximately 20% of children and adolescents in Germany fall into the risk group of psychological abnormalities. The effects of physical activity on mental health in children and adolescents has received less attention than on the adult population. However, research indicates that physical activity can be used as a preventive measure to protect from mental disorders. Furthermore, physical activity has shown to increase concentration- and other cognitive skills and as such, can improve academic performance.
Team sports such as football are ideal activities to positively influence a child’s social behavior. The football-based program »Spiel dich stark«, aims to improve mental health, social behavior and academic performance through strengthening protective factors. The program was developed by physical education experts and football coaches. »Spiel dich stark« is implemented as an extra-curricular school-based research project.