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, intervention and innovation 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 the public 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

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

Steering Committee Member of Lighthouse Life Science (2022+).

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

Steering Committee Member of the partnership "Together about healthy active children in Vordingborg Municipality" (2020+)

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

Founding member of Network for Systematic Welfare Innovation (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 (2018-2022).

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

Mentor and supervisor for a number of leaders, 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 MOVEOUT, 3PL, the Family Rocketand others.

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

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

Selected publications

Lee, E.Y, de Lannoy, L., Li, L.D., Adams, M.L., Bentsen, P., …, & Tremblay, M.S. (2022). Play, Learn, and Teach Outdoors - Network (PLaTO-Net): International Consensus on Terminology, Taxonomy, and Ontology [accepted by International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity].

Melby, P., Nielsen, G., Brønd, J.C., Bentsen, P., & Elsborg P. (2022). Association between children's physical literacy and physical and psychosocial well-being: is physical activity a mediator? [accepted by BMC Public Health].

Elsborg P., Melby P.S., Tremblay M., Brønd, J., Nielsen, G., & Bentsen P. (2021). Translation and validation of the Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy in a Danish sample. BMC Public Health, 21, 2236.

Santos, R., Lopes, L., Coel.ho-e-Silva, M.J., Draper, C.E., Mota, J., Jidovtseff, B., Clark, C.C.T., Schmidt, M., Morgan, P., Duncan. M., O'Brien, W, Bentsen, P., …, & Agostinis-Sobrinho, C. (2021). A Narrative Review of Motor Competence in Children and Adolescents: What we Know and What we Need to Find Out. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(1), 18.

Mygind, L., Elsborg, P., Schipperijn, J., Boruff, B., Lum, J.A.G., Bølling, M., Flensborg-Madsen, T., Bentsen, P., Enticott, P.G., & Christian, H. (2021). Is vegetation cover in key behaviour settings important for early childhood socioemotional function? A preregistered, cross-sectional study [pre-published by Developmental Science].

Melby, P.S., Elsborg, P., Nielsen, G., Lima, R.A., Bentsen, P., & Andersen, L.B. (2021). Exploring the importance of diversified physical activities in early childhood for later motor competence and physical activity level: a seven-year longitudinal study. BMC Public Health, 21, 1492.

Bentsen, P., Mygind, L., Elsborg, P., Nielsen, G., & Mygind, E. (2021). Education outside the classroom as upstream school health promotion: 'adding-in' physical activity into children's everyday life and settings. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, Epub ahead of print.

Elsborg, P., Ryom, K., Melby, P.S., Nielsen, G., Maindal, H.T., & Bentsen, P. (2021). Which literacy for health promotion: health, food, nutrition or media? what about physical literacy? Health Promotion International, daaa158.

Mygind, L., Kurtzhals, M., Nowell, C., Melby, P.S., Stevenson, M.P., Niewenhujsen, M., Lum, J.A.G., Flensborg-Madsen, T., Bentsen, P., & Enticott, P.G. (2021). Landscapes of becoming social: A systematic review of evidence for associations and pathways between interactions with nature and socioemotional development in children. Environment International, 146, 106238.

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