There is a statistically significant relationship between health and academic achievement. Research evidence shows that children who are healthy are at a low risk for school problems than students who are unhealthy. Students with good health tend to perform better in school than those with poor health. Problems that emanate from poor health include a higher probability of school failure, poor levels of concentration, grade retention and dropout. However, health is a complex and elusive concept and its definition is often shrouded by assumptions and limitations. Therefore, the relationship between health and student achievement is often complex. The concept of health has been evolving over time, cutting across multiple disciplines. Of late, there has been a focus on achieving not only health but total well-being. Schools have been challenged to promote student health by providing favourable environments, policies, support services and information-based interventions. Schools should develop integrated health interventions because of their proven effectiveness in promoting healthy lifestyles among students. This chapter critically examines the concept of health and establishes the connection between health and achievement. The chapter also proposes health interventions that are effective in influencing academic achievement.
Part of the book: Health and Academic Achievement