The Austrian Moving School model: school quality means enabling the children to live out their natural need for exercise

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Young people and adolescents need to move sufficiently to ensure optimum development. Research has shown that not moving enough can lead to behavioural problems and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).

This discussion paper looks at the Austrian ‘Moving School’ model, which focuses on the importance of giving pupils opportunities to move while at school, to help them maintain and improve their well-being. It has been developed to support the promotion of good musculoskeletal health among children and young people (through physical activity) and contribute to increasing the awareness of the importance of moving. Sitting behaviour established in childhood and adolescence is often retained in adulthood. Prolonged sitting time during work often results in musculoskeletal health problems, especially low back pain and neck and shoulder complaints. Numerous adaptations can be made at work to prevent MSDs, but the most effective way is to start early and promote a more physically active lifestyle in childhood.

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