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ukactive research aims to shine light on inactivity crisis

By Deven Pamben    22 Nov 2016
Promising Practice 2 aims at identifying physical activity programmes that demonstrate good practice

Organisations, groups and individuals who contribute to increasing the levels of physical activity across the UK are being urged to take part in a ukactive survey to find out ‘what works’ in getting people more active.

The ukactive Research Institute is working with the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine (NCSEM) and Public Health England (PHE) to launch Promising Practice 2, which aims at identifying physical activity programmes that demonstrate good and promising practice in communities.

By highlighting effective physical activity initiatives that – if scaled up – could contribute to shifting the population towards making ‘everybody active, every day’, researchers hope to uncover exercise solutions that deliver health, economic and social improvements for communities.

Britain’s physical inactivity epidemic costs £20bn each year and causes 37,000 deaths.

In July 2014, a total of 952 survey responses were submitted to the initial Promising Practice project, making it one of the largest surveys of physical activity programmes in the country ever conducted. As a result, the Identifying what works for local physical inactivity interventions report contained an evaluation of the programmes and featured as part of the national Everybody active, every day framework published by PHE.

This latest initiative will seek to build on this, taking a look at physical activity interventions across the UK to identify ‘what works’ and examining the progress programmes have made since 2014. Although evaluation will still feature, the focus is identifying and championing effective programmes that can move the nation and transform lives.

Dr Steven Mann, ukactive research director, said: “Through Promising Practice 2 we want to identify and scale the most successful initiatives so that they can bring the benefits of physical activity to communities nationwide.

“Our report will provide practical guidance on how the physical activity sector can consolidate good practice and build an evidence-base around what works and significantly improve the standard of physical activity.

“To build the case for wider commissioning of physical activity programmes, it’s essential that we are able to demonstrate our impact and the return on investment of our services in the same way as other public health services.”

Dr Justin Varney, national lead for adult health and wellbeing at PHE, said: “Since 2014, there has been a real drive across the physical activity sector on data and evaluation. So we are excited to see what progress has been made, and hope organisations step forward with interventions with evidence of impact and outcomes.”

All survey submissions will be reviewed and classified by a senior academic board made up of members of the ukactive Research Institute, the NCSEM and PHE.

Programmes and projects deemed ‘good’ or ‘promising’ could be showcased at ukactive’s National Summit 2017 and regional roadshows, feature in reports to key stakeholders such as Sport England and Public Health England, and used as an entry submission to the ukactive Flame Awards 2017.

To take part, entrants need to submit details of a physical activity programme that their organisation is running through an online questionnaire. The survey should take approximately 30 minutes and will close at 5pm on Monday 2nd January 2017.

To complete the survey, please visit: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/PromisingPractice_2

Inactivity  research  survey  ukactive  Public Health England  health 
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