Parkour as Health Promotion in Schools: A Qualitative Study on Health Identity

Dan Grabowski, Signe Dalsgaard Thomsen


In the present paper, we highlight the potential role of parkour in school-based health promotion. In a school setting,it is often difficult to promote health and healthy behaviour in ways that make sense and appeal to pupils. Researchsuggests that initiatives incorporating a focus on identity and on presenting health in new and different ways aremore likely to succeed in generating engagement, participation and involvement and thereby to affect learningoutcomes and behaviour change. In the present paper, we explore and discuss parkour as just such a new anddifferent approach. We do this using an empirically and theoretically tested concept of health identity as our maintheoretical and analytical component. We present our findings in three main themes: 1) Changed self-images provideopportunities for social inclusion, 2) New observations of others force pupils to reconsider roles and hierarchies and3) Togetherness and non-competitiveness generate a sense of belonging. The paper provides teachers and schoolhealth practitioners with important knowledge about why they may wish to incorporate parkour into school healthpromotion and equally important knowledge about how a focus on health identity is essential if they are to ensureconditions that facilitate significant health-promoting effects for all pupils – not just for those who are already healthy.

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World Journal of Education
ISSN 1925-0746(Print)  ISSN 1925-0754(Online)

Copyright © Sciedu Press

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