Physical Activity and Nutrition in Schools

Schools have been identified as important institutions for the promotion of physical activity and healthy eating. The research conducted by members of this theme is primarily concerned with the evaluation of theoretically driven physical activity and nutrition interventions for children and adolescents.

More specifically, researchers are interested in the impact of school-based interventions on physiological, behavioural, psychological, cognitive and social outcomes. This theme is also concerned with the improvement of physical activity and dietary assessment and the identification of the mediators and moderators of intervention effects in youth.

Current Research Programs

Burn 2 Learn is a school-based physical activity program, designed to improve fitness, support wellbeing and enhance academic achievement among senior school students.
Burn 2 Learn App

iPLAY is a comprehensive School Physical Activity Program designed for primary schools using an on-line training platform for teachers.

Resistance Training for Teens is a school-based program design to improve fitness among adolescents, and provide them with the skills, confidence, and motivation to participate in resistance training safely and effectively.
RT for Teens App

Thinking While Moving is a curriculum-based program designed to increase children’s physical activity and improve their on-task behaviour in primary schools.


STRESSED (Stress Reactivity after Exercise in Senior Secondary Education). A new project to investigate the effect of exercise on stress in HSC students.


In 2020 MASTER will be provided to primary school teachers as a professional learning workshop.  The MASTER program aims to enhance children's physical, psychological and socio-emotional health and well being through positive sporting experiences. MASTER is an evidence-based program that helps teachers and sports coaches develop the skills and understanding needed to design and deliver high quality sports programs.

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Selected Publications

Article has an altmetric score of 98

Kennedy SG, Smith JJ, Morgan PJ, Peralta LR, Hilland TA, Eather N, et al., 'Implementing Resistance Training in Secondary Schools: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 50 62-72 (2018)  [C1] DOI 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001410

Article has an altmetric score of 48

Lubans D, Richards J, Hillman C, Faulkner G, Beauchamp M, Nilsson M, et al., 'Physical Activity for Cognitive and Mental Health in Youth: A Systematic Review of Mechanisms', PEDIATRICS, 138 (2016)  [C1] DOI 10.1542/peds.2016-1642

Article has an altmetric score of 98

Costigan SA, Eather N, Plotnikoff RC, Hillman CH, Lubans DR,  'High-Intensity Interval Training for Cognitive and Mental Health in Adolescents', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 48 1985-1993 (2016)  [C1] DOI 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000993

Article has an altmetric score of 19

Cohen KE, Morgan PJ, Plotnikoff RC, Callister R, Lubans DR,  'Physical activity and skills intervention: SCORES cluster randomized controlled trial', Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 47 765-774 (2015) [C1] DOI 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000452

Article has an altmetric score of 10

Smith JJ, Morgan PJ, Plotnikoff RC, Dally KA, Salmon J, Okely AD, et al., 'Smart-phone obesity prevention trial for adolescent boys in low-income communities: The ATLAS RCT', Pediatrics, 134 e723-e731 (2014)  [C1] DOI 10.1542/peds.2014-1012

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