A joined up approach to keeping young people active
24 Oct 2013
An international panel of experts report in an article in BioMed Central open access journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity on a list of priorities for research into the health benefits of physical activity in young people. If these are taken up, better quality focused research could improve evidence based policy regarding physical activity for children.
The amount of physical activity in young people could influence the development of disease later in their life. Research into physical activity in young people has expanded rapidly in the last few years, accelerated by factors such as the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games, but it is often pursued in a reactive and uncoordinated manner. In this article, international experts identified research priorities in an attempt to provide some co-ordination and guidance in the progression of this field.
Two independent panels, each consisting of 12 international experts, were surveyed using the Delphi procedure, which allows the panel to give feedback to anonymous answers to specific questions. Initially, the panel were asked to put forward their thoughts on what the important research issues are for the next 10 years in the area of physical activity in children and adolescents. These were then reviewed and ranked in order of international importance.
The culmination of this process was a ranked set of 29 research priorities for the field. These priorities covered a broad number of topics, from capturing and quantifying the health benefits of increasing physical activity to those related to the theory of behaviour change. The top three priorities were; developing effective and sustainable interventions to increase children's physical activity long-term, policy and/or environmental change and their influence on children's physical activity and sedentary behaviour and prospective, and longitudinal studies of the independent effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on health.
The study has strong implications for the progression of this rapidly expanding field. Better quality and directed research could have a strong impact on evidence based policy regarding activity in children. “We hope these research priorities will help inform the spectrum of future studies undertaken, guide post-graduate study choices, guide allocation of funding to priority areas and assist with policy decision”, said Lauren Gillis, from the University of South Australia and lead author on the paper.
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Notes to Editor
1. Research priorities for child and adolescent physical activity and sedentary behaviours: an international perspective using a twin-panel Delphi procedure
Lauren Gillis, Grant Tomkinson, Timothy Olds, Carla Moreira, Candice Christie, Claudio Nigg, Ester Cerin, Esther Van Sluijs, Gareth Stratton, Ian Janssen, Jeremy Dorovolomo, John J Reilly, Jorge Mota, Kashef Zayed, Kent Kawalski, Lars Bo Andersen, Manuel Carrizosa, Mark Tremblay, Michael Chia, Mike Hamlin, Non Eleri Thomas, Ralph Maddison, Stuart Biddle, Trish Gorely, Vincent Onywera and Willem Van Mechelen
International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (in press)
2. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (IJBNPA) is an open access, peer-reviewed online journal devoted to furthering the understanding of the behavioral aspects of diet and physical activity.
3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector. @BioMedCentral