Aside from home, children and adolescents spend more time in school than in any other setting. As such schools represent a key environment for promoting of health-related behaviours. Additionally, use of the school-setting has the potential to overcome health inequalities, as all children and adolescents are able to participate irrespective of socioeconomic status. Central to success is ensuring interventions are both effective as well as sustainable in the longer-term. It is important that policy makers, researchers and practitioners actively consult with their target population to gain an understanding of how best to promote the health-behaviour, as well as identify any barriers/ facilitators, thereby informing the content of future interventions. In the UK, children from Northern Ireland are least likely to meet current physical activity recommendations than their counterparts elsewhere. Transition from primary to second-level education represents a time when physical inactivity and sedentary behaviours may increase, especially in adolescent girls. This presentation will share recent data on the development and implementation of a peer- led school-based brisk walking intervention (the WISH study) and will review evidence in relation to what works and suggested ways forward which target this key environment as a means of effectively promoting positive health-related behaviours.
This seminar took place on 14 February 2018