Measuring physical activity and behaviors allows schools to promote a healthy and active lifestyle among students. Understanding activity levels and behaviors helps create tailored programs that encourage regular exercise, instill healthy habits, and improve overall physical and mental wellbeing.
The linkage between physical activity and obesity and wellbeing are now well documented. However, the impact of physical activity is not just driven by establishing how many children are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of an average of at least 60 minutes per day across the week and how many are less active. Furthermore, physical activity includes a complex set of behaviours that take place in a variety of settings with a wide range of purposes and intentions. It is naïve to see physical activity as a single entity, especially when we are investigating potential solutions to inactivity. We believe that profiles of physical activity that reflect
different elements and settings of physical activity offer a more helpful picture
For example, a child's attitude towards sport and physical activity e.g. the motives and reasons for being active and activity enjoyment is linked to a child's resilience and wellbeing.
This survey covers the key attitudes and motives for a person taking part in sport and physical activity.
Self-efficacy is an individuals' confidence in their ability to successfully perform a particular task. Self-efficacy beliefs therefore play a role in maintenance of health behaviours over time. This survey asks key questions such as - I think I can be physically active no matter how busy my day is; I think I can be physically active after school even if my friends want me to do something else; I think I can ask my parent/guardian to get me the equipment I need to be physically active; I think I can be physically active after school even if I could watch TV or play video games instead
In the UK schools influence 40–45% of youngsters waking time, a portion that is only secondary to the time spent in the home. Schools also provide a unique context for learning when receptiveness and capacity for attitudinal and behavioural modification is probably at its greatest. It is not surprising, therefore, that various attempts have been made in the past to promote children’s health and fitness through the school curriculum
However it is important to understand an activity profile that includes transport to school and parents who provided either more role modelling or logistic support for Physical Activity may also be more likely to facilitate active travel as part of the overall supportive approach to Physical Activity within the household. This survey focuses on school travel mode and parenting practices and modelling of behaviour
Sleep is an important contributor to physical and mental health. However, chronic sleep deprivation has become common in adolescents, especially on weekdays.
Indeed there has been a decline of 0.75 min/night/year in sleep duration over the last 100 years, with the greatest rate of decline in sleep occurring
for adolescents and on school days.
Furthermore, insufficient sleep as a possible cause of weight gain and obesity has received considerable attention in the media and scientific literature over the past decade - as lack of sleep impacts on eating and activity behaviors.
This survey covers some key questions compiled by Loughborough University, who have engaged in a body of research looking at the interconnections between sleep, sedentary behaviour, physical activity and diet
Sport England run an Active Lives Children and Young People Survey (covering years 1-11), which is published annually and gives a comprehensive view of how people are getting active
This survey covers the key themes included in the Active Lives Children and Young People Survey for levels of activity (during the school day and outside school) and types of activity. This survey can then be used in conjunction with other surveys from the (1) Physical Activity and Behaviours category e.g.Attitudes to Physical Activity; Time spent not being active; School travel mode and parental physical activity practices; Sleeping habits; (2) Perceptions of Self category e.g. Physical Self Perception Profile; and (3) Mental wellbeing category, to draw some key associations and linkages between physical activity and wellbeing
In the UK schools influence 40–45% of youngsters waking time, a portion that is only secondary to the time spent in the home. However it is important to understand how many hours a day, including weekends, children spend time being inactive and what are they spending time on being inactive e.g. Using a phone or texting ; Using a games console or other video game device.