Active Movement by numbers

Published on 22/11/2016

When designing the programme Dr Mike Loosemore was very clear about the evaluation processes behind it. As both medical innovator and scientist, he recognised that without substantial evidence as support, the programme could not have the wide appeal it merits.

As a behavioural change programme, it is imperative that data helps identify if it has had the necessary effect. At the same time, behaviour change requires considerable time, so data recording must allow this. The online behaviour questionnaire has not only given us a detailed perspective, but its simplicity and accessibility has seen highly robust sample sizes.

A new technique involving sedentary behaviour as research tool has led us to gain insights into key area such as children’s behaviour around breakfasting, bedtime habits, school travel and weekend activity.

We have introduced active assessments such as hand grips and jump plates to review physical change along with weight, height and circumference measurements. All are taken pre- and post-programme.

Staff and parents questionnaires rating current views about activity in the classroom are taken at the beginning and the end. Challenges within the programme are recorded and compared. SIMS and EYFS data are to be reviewed to examine effects on attainment, behaviour and absenteeism. Selected control schools supply similar behavioural and physical data for comparison.

“We are in a unique position,” says Dr Loosemore. “Because we are so integrated into the daily routine of the school, we can delve much more deeply into the effects we have. This is important in a programme around behaviour change as improvements will be subtler, albeit more embedded. Our extensive evaluate process offers far greater insight than most other programmes.”