Physical activity is important for children’s physical and mental health. The UK government recommend that all children should spend an hour each day doing something that gets them slightly hot, sweaty and out of breath.
Schools are key to helping children be physically active as almost all children attend them. They have the facilities and trained staff to deliver programmes and promote physical activity. However, by the end of primary school around half of children do not meet the recommended hour of activity each day.
Most schools use the same approaches to encourage children to be physically active. However, each school has a different setting, facilities, leadership and pupil profiles.
There have been many different attempts to increase activity levels among children. With a few exceptions, these haven’t really worked. We need a new approach that supports schools to tailor physical activity programmes to their specific needs and context.
Our main aim is to work with schools, children and families to develop a menu of physical activity options that schools can choose from to produce their own physical activity programme.
What we hope to achieve
We want to produce a portfolio of physical activity interventions that have been shown to help primary school-aged children be more physically active. This will include materials developed to support the delivery of the programme. Our evaluation will help us understand how well this new approach can meet its aim of increasing children’s physical activity levels in the long-term.
Rethinking children’s physical activity interventions at school: A new context-specific approach