The UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO) published new guidelines on physical activity in September 2019. Based on a comprehensive review of the latest research, they recommend how much physical activity we should do and what types most benefit our health.
In the past, physical activity guidelines have been tricky to understand and difficult to follow. This project, led by the ARC West team alongside collaborators Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), aims to make them more meaningful and useful for members of the public.
The How Do You Move? project is in three parts:
Underpinning this project is KWMC’s framework for community engagement – the “Bristol Approach”. This ensures the public are involved in the design, testing and evaluation of socially beneficial products, such as the physical activity guidelines. The Bristol Approach has been used on issues such as food waste and damp in homes. How Do You Move? will strengthen the Bristol Approach by applying it in a new area.
The Brigstow Institute, University of Bristol has funded the first two stages of this project.
This project aims to:
We worked with KWMC and Mufti Games to develop fun, interactive workshops that explored different groups’ attitudes to physical activity and how messages about physical activity should be communicated. Four workshops were run for the following groups:
Researchers then analysed the data produced by the workshops.
To develop the case studies and videos, we found six people with interesting physical activity stories to tell. Some of them were participants in the workshops, others were individuals already known to the project team. The participants were interviewed in an informal setting: some were even interviewed on a walk to bring physical activity into the process. The interviews were developed into case studies written in the first person, through several iterations. Four case studies went on to be developed into videos.
In the case studies part of the project, we worked with the participants and KWMC to develop four videos:
Abiir lives in Easton in Bristol and has four young daughters. She spent her childhood in Germany, and is now a keen advocate for increasing cycling in the Somali community.
Ben is a community activist in Bedminster, Bristol. He’s retired and spends a lot of his time working with local people to improve the neighbourhood, particularly to make it more pleasant and accessible for walking.
Lesley works full-time managing a large university department, as well as juggling family life with her partner, two teenage daughters and two dogs. She came to running later in life and is now an active part of the running community in Staple Hill, Bristol.
Vince lives in Bedminster in Bristol and has strong links to Knowle West and Hengrove where he grew up. Despite health issues, he’s used the support available in South Bristol to help maintain both his mental and physical wellbeing.
The videos were launched at event on 22 January 2020 which included a screening of these four films.
The audience also heard from Nikki, who participated in the project with her husband Stephen. They both work in the NHS. They have experienced physical and mental health challenges in the last 10 years but physical activity has helped improve their wellbeing. All five stories are being written up for an academic paper.
The results from the workshop and the case studies are being written up into separate papers. The first paper will provide practical recommendations for how to improve the communication of physical activity to the public, and the second will present the written stories from our six case studies.
We also plan to deliver training events for healthcare and communications professionals to help disseminate the recommendations from our project. We ran a training workshop in November 2019 in Edinburgh which was very successful.
Finally, we will be sharing our stories and our findings at local, national and international events and using social media.
The University of Bristol is internationally renowned and one of the very best in the UK, due to its outstanding teaching and research, its superb facilities and highly talented students and staff. Its students thrive in a rich academic environment which is informed by world-leading research. It hosts the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research.