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Can Health Promoting Schools contribute to the better health and wellbeing of young people? The Hong Kong experience
  1. Albert Lee1,
  2. Frances F K Cheng1,
  3. Yanas Fung1,
  4. Lawrence St Leger2
  1. 1Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion, Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  2. 2Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Deakin University, Australia; and External Expert of Hong Kong Healthy Schools Award Scheme
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor A Lee
 Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion, Chinese University of Hong Kong, 4th Floor, Lek Yuen Health Centre, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong; alee{at}


Background: The Health Promoting School (HPS) is a WHO sponsored framework, compiled to enable education and health sectors to be more effective in school based initiatives.

Aims: This study attempted to test the hypothesis that students from schools that had comprehensively embraced the HPS concept as indicated by the Healthy School Award, were better, in terms of health risk behaviour, self reported health status, and academic results, than students from schools that did not reach the standard of the award.

Methods and Results: The results presented came from nine schools (four primary and five secondary) applying for accreditation of the Healthy Schools Award after adopting the HPS framework for two years. Regular consultancy support and training were available to all schools. Students had completed before and after surveys to assess their health behaviours, self reported health status, and academic standing before the two year intervention, and at its end. Data from the before and after surveys of the students attending schools that reached certain level of HPS standard as indicated by the award, were compared with students whose schools did not receive the award, and the results showed differences. Some differences were found to be more significant among the primary school students than secondary schools students. This illustrated early intervention for lifestyle changes to be more effective. Students’ satisfaction with life also improved if their schools adopted the concept of HPS comprehensively.

Conclusions: The results suggest that comprehensive implementation of HPS would contribute to differences in certain behaviours and self reported health and academic status.

  • HPS, Health Promoting School
  • HKHSA, Hong Kong Healthy Schools Award Scheme
  • HKSHSQ, Hong Kong student health survey questionnaire
  • wellbeing
  • Health Promotion Schools

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  • Funding: support was received from the Quality Education Fund of the Hong Kong Government of Special Administrative Region.

  • Competing interests: none declared.