Children tend to exercise less as they become adolescents and remain physically inactive once they become an adult. A lack of physical activity among young people can result in them becoming obese, developing mental health problems and suffering from poor bone development, and puts them at greeater risk of developing long-term health problems including diabetes and cancer.
GoActive stands for Get Others Active and is designed to increase physical activity in young people, aged 13 to 14 (Year 9). It has been designed to include all students and be particularly appealing to students who do not do a lot of exercise, are shy and are not happy with their relationship with others at school. The aim of this study is to find out whether GoActive helps to increase physical activity of year 9 students when in the school environment.
The project has had two phases:
In the Autumn 2013/Spring 2014 a cluster-randomised control trial was conducted in 3 (2 intervention and 1 control) schools to assess the feasibility of implementing the GoActive intervention on a larger scale in secondary schools. The trial was used to specifically assess preliminary effectiveness and to test full study procedures such as measurement logistics, randomisation and intervention delivery.
460 students participated in the pilot trial and completed questionnaire based measures and wore activity monitors. The results showed that in the schools that received the GoActive intervention, there was a 5 minute daily increase in MVPA, showing an effect and feasibility for the programme. The lessons learnt during the pilot trial were used to shape and refine the protocol for the main cluster-randomised control trial.
In Autumn 2016 a fully powered cluster-randomised control trial was conducted in 16 schools across Essex and Cambridgeshire with 8 schools receiving the GoActive programme, and 8 remaining as control schools. Measurements assessing physical activity, body composition and psychosocial factors have been obtained across 4 different time points.
We are currently in the processes of analysing the data with trial results publications expected early in 2019.