Health-enhancing physical activity (HEPA) is an ongoing concern for all nation states and in particular for young people, who are the future adults in our society. Global physical inactivity levels remain static and as a consequence there is a global goal to reduce physical inactivity by 10% by 2025 and by 15% by 2030 (WHO, 2018). The World Health Organisation in late 2018 launched their Global Action Plan for Physical Activity, where, it sets out four objectives and 20 policy actions for adoption by member states. GAPPA adopts a whole-systems approach to addressing HEPA which can be applied to a number of settings in our society, including educational settings.
To develop this project and achieve its aims transnationally we will enable a resource to be developed across partner countries each with its own cultural and societal challenges to physical activity promotion in young people. Working transnationally we will enable partners to both work and learn across their own country and system borders. We will enable the development of a school-based global resource co-produced between partners and key stakeholders, to address a global issue.
Currently, levels of physical activity in young people in the partner countries are as follows:
- Wales – 62% of children aged 3-7 years are sufficiently active, with a drop to 39% for young people aged 13-17 years
- Finland - 45% of children aged 10-11 years undertake sufficient physical activity;
- Greece - 59% of children (62% females; 65% males) aged between 4 and 12 years undertake the sufficient physical activity
- Cyprus – 21% of children aged 15 years and under undertake sufficient physical activity on 1-3 days and 17% on 4 – 7 days.
- Italy – 82% of children (81% girls; 83% boys) aged 8-9 years and 11% of children (8% girls; 15% boys) aged 11-15 years undertake sufficient physical activity
- Belgium – 6% of children aged 6-9 years, 23% of children aged 10-12 years in French and German communities, and 17% of children aged 10-12 years in the Flemish community are engaged in sufficient physical activity levels
This project therefore aims to produce resource materials for school-based settings that promote the four GAPPA objectives and a whole-systems approach to addressing HEPA in schools for young people. It aims to firstly, produce a training resource for school based staff (teachers, head teachers, school governors, support staff) to understand the four objectives and their specific application and connectivity in a school setting and, secondly, through the implementation of that training resource, draw the four GAPPA objectives together in an applied way, to enable schools to adopt and promote a whole- schools/systems approach to addressing inactivity and HEPA.