Health Promoting School (HPS), promulgated by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a school that constantly strengthens its capacity as a healthy setting for living, learning and working through a concerted effort of all its members and the community.

Why do we need to build a HPS?

Schools serve as an efficient health promotion platform to reach large number of people. A HPS allows students to acquire knowledge and skills for healthy living which bring life-long benefits. By sharing these learning experiences, students and staff can enhance the welfare of their families and the community. Making school a healthy workplace can also improve the physical and psycho-social health of the staff. Education and health, two very important elements in one’s growth, are interrelated. Research suggests that students’ level of physical activity and diet habit have strong association with academic achievement – the former exerts positive effects on academic achievement, especially on mathematics-related skills and reading1. With improved fitness, students can learn more effectively and strive for excellence in schools.

Research shows the following benefits of HPS:

  • Reduce the risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) by helping students to2
    • increase physical activity
    • improve fruit and vegetable consumption
    • reduce tobacco use
  • Increase the resilience of students and teachers3
  • Enhance educational outcomes of students4
1. Álvarez-Bueno, C., Pesce, C., Cavero-Redondo, I., Sánchez-López, M., Garrido-Miguel, M., & Martínez-Vizcaíno, V. (2017). Academic achievement and physical activity: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 140(6).
2. Langford, R. et al. (2014). The WHO Health Promoting School framework for improving the health and well-being of students and their academic achievement. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 4.
3. Wong, M. C. et al. (2009). A comparative study on resilience level between WHO health promoting schools and other schools among a Chinese population. Health Promotion International, 24(2), 149-155.
4. St Leger, L., Young, I., Blanchard, C., & Perry, M. (2010). Promoting health in schools: From evidence to action. Retrieved from

Six key factors of Health Promoting School

Healthy school policies
To establish and document policies and practices that promote health such as physical activity, healthy eating, mental health and anti-bullying

School’s physical environment
To provide a safe, hygienic and healthy environment for learning

School’s social environment
To create a caring, respectful and supportive ambience

Community links
To link with different stakeholders and work proactively in partnership for health promotion in community

Action competencies for healthy living
To adopt a comprehensive curriculum that helps students to acquire knowledge and skills for healthy living

School health care and promotion services
To provide basic disease prevention, protection and health promotion services

Getting started
“Health Promoting School Programme” provides various kinds of support to assist schools to become a HPS.

School-based need
- Analysis of the health needs of students and staff analysis by making reference to the six key factors of HPS Identification of specific health priorities to develop tailor-made action plan

Seminars & activities
- Capacity-building activities for stakeholders to understand the concept and implementation of HPS

Interactive resources
- Capacity-building activities for stakeholders to understand the concept and implementation of HPS - Professional advice from healthcare professionals

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Last Revision Date : 13 June 2019