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School-based interventions for i ncreasing p hysical a ctivity and well-being : The MOVE project’s design and conceptual framework Katie Thomson, Sarah Curtis and Chris Dunn on behalf of the MOVE project team. Supported by: . Adolescent Physical Activity.

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School-based interventions for increasing physical activity and well-being: The MOVE project’s design and conceptual framework

Katie Thomson, Sarah Curtis and Chris Dunn on behalf of the MOVE project team

Supported by:

adolescent physical activity
Adolescent Physical Activity

Nader et al. (2008)

physical activity promotion in schools
Physical Activity Promotion in Schools
  • Schools play a key role in supporting the health and well-being of children and young people.
  • Aims of ‘healthy school’ programme:
    • to support children and young people in developing healthy behaviours;
    • to help to raise pupil achievement;
    • to help to reduce health inequalities; and
    • to help promote social inclusion.

In Education and Public Health policy makers are seeking evidence of ‘what works’ based on trial methodologies;

There is a lack of such evidence to inform these areas of policy

There is discussion about whether trials methods are the best way to produce evidence to support policy making in this field (other methods might be complementary/better)

aim of the research
Aim of the research
  • To design and test the effectiveness of two complementary school-based interventions for increasing MVPA and psychological wellbeing of secondary school-aged children.
  • Also research seeks to reveal how interventions may influence ‘self-efficacy’ and perceptions of home and school neighbourhood that may influence patterns of PA.
rationale for interventions
Rationale for Interventions

Participative learning intervention

Individual’s PA and bodily state

the move project design
The MOVE project design

68 schools allocated to 1 of 4 different groups with different ‘intervention’ programmes in each.

The Participative Learning intervention:Introducing participative learning about PA into Geography classes
  • Series of 6 Geography lessons
  • Students learn about:
    • GPS and GIS; they have access to their own activity and GPS data*
    • physical and social environment and its effect on physical activity;
    • environmental barriers to being active, plan how to overcome and use space more effectively to promote physical activity.

* Students use GIS to map their route to school and learn about spatial mapping techniques.


Stage 2:Discussion about what routes show and what they tell us about modes of transportation/physical activity


Stage 3:Linking space to health and wellbeing. Different coloured post-its for things/places that are good/bad for health and wellbeing

feasibility and value of control trials in school settings various challenges
Feasibility and value of control trials in school settings: various challenges!
  • Recruitment of schools
  • Maintaining contact with schools
  • Difficulty of practicing blinding in trial
  • Poor understanding of the nature of control trials in school settings
  • Attrition following randomisation
  • The diversity of school environments (and therefore non-standard delivery of intervention materials)
  • Problems of ‘missing data’ both on the school and individual level


In general there is an enthusiastic response from schools >60 schools recruited and proceeding with the research

Teachers and Pupils are directly engaged in the research and we will be recording their experiences

Project legacy : a set of teaching materials designed to bring ideas from health geography into school curricula (planned dissemination via the Geographical Association, Royal Geographical Society and Local Education Authorities).

Good potential to promote better knowledge of geographical tools such as GIS

New understanding of the potential (and limitations of trials methods)


Thank you for listening.

Katie Thomson

Department of Geography

Durham University

Science Site, South Road




Tel: 0191 3341887

intervention rationale
Intervention rationale

Peer-mentoring intervention

  • Year 7 student paired with Year 9 student.
  • Six weekly classroom-based sessions.
  • Activity worksheets and group discussion.
  • Behavioural skills:
    • goal setting
    • self-monitoring
    • barrier identification
    • parental support
    • plan peer-support.