How to make physical activity promotion work in Thai schools: Perspectives of multiple stakeholders

Areekul Amornsriwatanakul, Narongsak Noosorn, Kittipong Poonchob, Rung Wongwat, Somkiat Sornprasit, Phataraphon Markmee, Michael Rosenberg, Karen Milton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Background: This study aimed to determine current practice in physical activity (PA) promotion in Thai schools, explore barriers and facilitators to PA promotion within the school setting, and identify strategies to support schools’ future practice.
Methods: A qualitative study design was applied comprising document analysis, focus groups, in-depth interviews, and onsite observations. The focus groups and in-depth interviews were conducted with 144 informants, purposively recruited through 24 schools in 4 regions across Thailand. Inductive content analysis was used.
Results: Most schools were promoting PA in the absence of written policies, and without an accurate understanding of PA. Nonalignment of school performance indicators and policies, concerns about children’s academic performance, and lack of budget were raised as barriers to PA promotion, whereas strong partnerships with multiple local stakeholders facilitated school-based PA promotion. Mandated government PA policies and more information support were suggested as strategies to enhance schools’ future practices.
Conclusions: For PA promotion to be successful in the school setting, significant challenges will need to be addressed. Results from this study help the government and concerned stakeholders to better understand the situation at the school level, and further strive for achieving the target PA levels specified in the National PA Plan.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63–70
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Activity and Health
Issue number1
Early online date13 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • Thailand
  • adolescent
  • health promotion
  • implementation
  • policy
  • public health practice
  • youth

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