Abstract Objective: The main purpose of the present study was to evaluate the relationship between migraine (MI) and tension type headache (TTH), and the level of physical activity, smoking and BMI in an unselected population study among adolescents. Materials and methods: This cross- sectional study was conducted in Nord- Trøndelag County, during the years 1995-97. In total 5847 students were interviewed about recurring headaches during the last year, and then classified as having migraine or tension-type headache. The students also underwent a clinical examination, and filled in a questionnaire including questions about physical activity and smoking. Results: Among junior high school students (13-15 years), there was no significant association between headache and physical activity. Among high school students (16-18 years) however, 46 % of those without recurrent headache were physically active  4 hours/week, compared to 29,6 % and 35,8% for those with MI and TTH respectively. Among the 13 to 15 year olds there was a significant relation between migraine and smoking, and for both headache diagnosis among the 16 to 18 year olds. There was a significant relation between BMI  25 and weekly/daily recurrent headaches in both age groups, most evident for migraine, but also for TTH among the 13 to 15 year old adolescents. Conclusion: The present study shows that adolescents with MI and TTH are less physical active, are more likely to smoke and have a BMI  25, compared to those without recurrent headaches.