Boosting Physical Activity!
The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation have launched a pilot scheme, partnering with Boost to measure health outcomes and increase physical activity levels in primary school children by using wearable health technology. Meadowfield Primary School based in Leeds, will take part in an Introduction to Cricket Course, spanning 5 weeks at the Yorkshire Cricket Centre, with the main goal being to motivate children to move more by measuring their steps per session.
In 2016, it was reported that almost a third of children aged 2 to 15 in the UK are either overweight or obese, with more children now becoming obese at earlier stages of their lives and staying in the obese category for longer.*
There are many influences that can lead individuals to become overweight or obese including behaviour, genetics, environment and culture. However, an imbalance between energy consumed through food and activity output is deemed responsible as the root cause. Muscle and bone strength, well-being and fitness and optimal weight are all health factors that can be improved through the uptake of physical activity. For a long-term shift in behaviour towards increased physical activity, it is important for schools and the community to engage with programmes that contribute to sustainable change.
The inclusion of health technology such as pedometers into daily routine, is proven to increase motivation, goal setting and intrinsic incentivisation which leads to an increase in physical activity due to behaviour change.
Boost will provide children with a pedometer to wear during sessions to count the number of steps and distance they travel. They will then earn stickers and rewards according to their efforts and parents will receive a text message each week outlining how active their child has been.
“Boost makes physical activity more fun, engaging and rewarding for participants. We are delighted to be partnering with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Meadowfield Primary School to help get their pupils more active. Alongside the health benefits of physical activity, we want to understand the impact Boost can have on attainment, confidence and wellbeing within the classroom.” Tom Gribbin, Founder, Boost
Meadowfield Primary School will take part in an Introduction to Cricket five-week course which will see them learning to play cricket in top class facilities at the Yorkshire Cricket Centre. The use of Boost Bands, which measure steps taken each session, will enable the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation to measure the impact of sessions delivered. The pilot study will allow the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation to see the effectiveness of using this type of technology with children, and how this can be best transferred across other Yorkshire Cricket community projects.
For further information on the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation’s Educational offering, please click here. For further information on the Foundation’s Health and Well-being offering, please click here.
Boost’s goal is to get people more active by using the power of data to change behaviour. Boost provides organisations Boost Band pedometers, a technology platform and engagement tools to collect physical activity data and share back with participants, parents and teachers in engaging ways. For more information visit myboost.org or contact Tom on firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Childhood Obesity: A Plan for Action. HM Government (2016)