Peter Bentsen

​Director, Affiliated Professor, PhD

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Responsibilities and research areas

Peter Bentsen (PB) is Director at the Center for Clinical Research and Prevention (CCRP) and Affiliated Professor at the University of Copenhagen. PB holds a MSc in exercise and sport sciences and psychology as well as a PhD in educational and health promotion research. For a number of years, PB has worked with research, leadership, management, supervision, education, capacity building, and innovation in relation to health, education and welfare. PB has experience within the health, social and education sectors through employment at universities, university colleges, and hospitals, where he has led and managed a large number of research and intervention projects in schools, families, and local communities. Further, PB has a wide international network on top of experience from long-term stays abroad as a visiting scholar and project manager in Australia, England and Spain.

Based on health research in a clinical environment at Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg Hospital, CCRP and PB focus on the whole value chain from foundational research to practice. This is achieved through a cross-disciplinary approach, including epidemiological studies into the causes of diseases; clinical and 'real-world' intervention research and field trials; and implementation and monitoring, in order to create meaningful change that supports public health care and general well-being in Denmark.

PB's research interests and related intervention projects are quite broad and cross-disciplinary, but his research has generally focused on 'people, places, and programmes' in relation to children and young people's health, well-being, and learning within the interface that exists between health, behavioural and social sciences. Based on CCRP's overall ambition to contribute to a healthier population and CCRP's goal to promote physical, mental, and social health for individuals and populations, PB's main research areas and interest are:

1) prevention of obesity and non-communicable diseases in a life-course perspective

2) promotion of physical activity and healthy active living for individuals and populations

3) development, evaluation and implementation of 'real-word' complex interventions and programmes in the health, social and education sectors

4) interactions, interrelations and mechanisms between health, well-being and learning

5) research-based innovation, knowledge translation, and mobilisation 

Selected positions of trust, activities and honours / awards

Member of Committee for Children, Physical Activity and Health, the Novo Nordisk Foundation (2020+).

Founding Steering Committee Member of Danish Physical Literacy Network (2019+).

Member of SHE Research Group, Schools for Health Europe (2018+)

Founding Steering Committee Member of PLaTO-net (Play, learning and outdoor teaching) (2018+).

Founding Member of European Forum for Health Promotion Research (2018+)

Vice-chair of Scientific & Ethical Committee, UNESCO Chair in Global Health and Education (2018+).

Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI for the research and intervention projects PULSE, TEACHOUT, ASPHALT, DAPL and others. 

Mentor and supervisor for a number of researchers, postdocs, PhD and Master students, including creation and supervision of six Industrial PhD projects (funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark and others).

Member of steering committee for the research and intervention projects Nature Families, ECE-OUT, ASPHALT, Healthy in Nature and others.

Reviewer and Rapporteur for national research and science councils in Estonia, Norway, Romania, Sweden, and Germany as well as a row of PhD Schools and internationals scientific journals.

Recipient of the Teaching Environment Award (2012) and the Outdoor Teaching Award (2011).

Selected publications

Bentsen, P., Bonde, A.H., Schneller, M.B., Danielsen, D., Bruselius-Jensen, M., & Aagaard-Hansen, J. (2020).  Danish 'add-in' school-based health promotion: integrating health in curriculum time. Health Promotion International, 35(1), e70-e77.

Elsborg, P., Christensen, J.H., Klinker, C.D., Melby, P.S., Nielsen, G., & Bentsen, P. (2019). Sports-based recreation as a means to address social inequity in health: why, when, where, who, what, and how. BMC PH, 19, 1084.

Mygind, L., Bølling, M., Hartmeyer, R., Kjeldsted, E., Mygind, E., & Bentsen, P. (2019). Mental, physical and social health benefits of immersive nature-experience for children and adolescents: a systematic review and quality assessment of the evidence. Health & Place, 58, 102136.

Schneller, M.B., Schipperijn, J., Nielsen, G., & Bentsen, P. (2017). Children's physical activity during a segmented school week: results from a quasi-experimental education outside the classroom intervention. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14, 80.

Jourdan, D., Christensen, J.H., Darlington. E., Bonde, A.H., Bloch, P., & Bentsen, P. (2016). The involvement of young people in school- and community-based noncommunicable disease prevention interventions: a scoping review of designs and outcomes. BMC Public Health, 16, 1123. 

Nielsen, G., Mygind, E., Bølling, M., Otte, C.R., Schneller, M.B., Ejbye-Ernst, N., Schipperijn, J., & Bentsen, P. (2016). A quasi-experimental cross-disciplinary evaluation of the impacts of Education Outside the Classroom on pupils' physical activity, well-being and learning: the TEACHOUT study protocol. BMC Public Health, 16, 1117. 

Responsible editor