Archived Content

The following content has been archived and is available for historical reference.

Physical Activity & Health Research

Research in the area of physical activity and health focuses on evaluating the effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on health and well-being using a wide range of cutting edge, multidisciplinary approaches. The work of the group aligns to the Behavioural Epidemiology Framework by focusing on correlates, measurement, intervention, surveillance and health outcomes research. Research partners include the Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, commercial organisations, local authorities, community leisure trusts, school sport partnerships, and schools.

The overarching aim of the group’s work is to positively impact people’s health and wellbeing through changes to their physical activity behaviours. Much of the group’s work is to develop and test interventions and health promotion programming with children, young people and schools, which complements our adult physical activity research in community settings. This applied research is disseminated in peer-reviewed academic publications, and to impact policy and practice, research findings are also reported through grey literature, workshops, and other forms of knowledge exchange.

Current projects

Active Schools: Skelmersdale (AS:Sk)

AS:Sk is a collaborative project between Edge Hill University, West Lancashire School Sport Partnership, and West Lancashire Leisure Trust. The project will focus on implementing and evaluating primary school interventions to promote physical activity among Skelmersdale children.

ASSK Project Logos

Published articles

  • Fairclough, S. J., Dumuid, D., Taylor, S., Curry, W., McGrane, B., Stratton, G., Olds, T. (2017). Fitness, fatness and the reallocation of time between children’s daily movement behaviours: an analysis of compositional data. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 64. doi: 10.1186/s12966-017-0521-z
  • Taylor, S., Curry, W., Knowles, Z., Noonan, R., McGrane, B., & Fairclough, S. (2017). Predictors of Segmented School Day Physical Activity and Sedentary Time in Children from a Northwest England Low-Income Community. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(5), 534.

For more information contact: Prof Stuart Fairclough (PI): or Sarah Taylor (PhD student):, or follow @ActiveSchoolsSk

Girls’ Peer ACTivity (Project G-PACT)

Project G-PACT imageThis project aims to engage adolescent girls in physical activity through a peer- and mentor-led school-based intervention guided by social cognitive theory. The project will involve pilot and feasibility testing the intervention which will be co-delivered by Edge Hill University student mentors alongside adolescent peer-leaders. The project will incorporate the use of wearable activity trackers as a monitoring and support system for adolescent girls.

For more information contact: Prof Stuart Fairclough (PI): or Michael Owen (GTA & PhD student):


Get Healthy, Get Active in Sefton

GHGA project imageGet Healthy, Get Active is a Sport England funded programme which is being delivered across Sefton to engage inactive vulnerable adults in physical activity. The project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the programme which involves older adults and those with learning difficulties. The PhD element of the project focuses on older adults to provide an in-depth understanding of their physical activity perceptions and patterns.

For more information contact: Prof Stuart Fairclough (PI) or George Sanders (PhD student):


The Fitbit Project – Adolescents’ engagement with wearable technology

The project is funded by the Richard Benjamin Trust and is a collaborative project between Edge Hill University and the University of Birmingham. The project takes an interdisciplinary perspective to explore the psychological, social and pedagogical implications of wearable technology (e.g. Fitbits) in adolescents.

For more information contact: Dr Charlotte Kerner (PI):

Activity-Promoting Physical Education

The study objective is to test the reliability and validity of a newly created systematic observation method entitled SOFIT+. SOFIT+ is an adaptation of the established System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) tool. SOFIT+ was developed by collaborators at the University of South Carolina to better understand the components of PE lessons that increase or decrease children’s in-lesson physical activity. We are working with these colleagues to test the tool in English secondary school PE lessons. Secondary objectives are to understand PE teachers’ understanding and perceptions of MVPA-promoting practices in their own teaching, and to provide teachers with professional development guidance in respect of how to facilitate MVPA-promoting PE.

For more information contact: Prof. Stuart Fairclough (PI)


The UK Youth Activity Profile

This study is funded by the Youth Sport Trust and aims to evaluate the validity of the Youth Activity Profile (YAP) in UK schools to establish its feasibility as a cost-effective physical activity (PA) monitoring tool that can be used by teachers and other practitioners. The YAP is a PA survey that was designed to assess children’s health-enhancing PA and sedentary behaviour (SB) both in school and at home. The YAP was developed to provide an easier way for American schools to collect and compile data on children’s PA behaviours. The fully validated YAP will allow UK schools to systematically evaluate levels of PA and SB, and changes over time. The study is a collaboration between Edge Hill University, Iowa State University, and Liverpool John Moores University.

For more information contact: Prof. Stuart Fairclough (PI) or the study coordinator, Dr Danielle Christian:


Active West Lancs

Active West Lancs is a community physical activity and healthy lifestyles project that is funded by West Lancashire Borough Council. The project aims to increase health and wellbeing through active lifestyles of West Lancashire residents. Two PhD projects are attached to the Active West Lancs focusing on children and adults, respectively. Data collection will commence in the spring of 2017.

For more information contact: Prof. Stuart Fairclough (PI; children’s project) or Dr Whitney Curry (PI; adults project)


CUPPA Project – Perceptions and Beliefs on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviours Among Ethnically Diverse Adults

This project, funded by the Edge Hill University Research Investment Fund, aims to assess the positive and negative perceptions and beliefs of physical activity and sedentary behaviours held by ethnically diverse groups of adults in West Lancashire. This study seeks to provide a solution-based approach for changing peoples’ physical activity behaviour has the potential to inform an alternative novel strand of intervention research that positively promotes and informs physically active lifestyles.

For more information contact: Dr Whitney Curry (PI)


Validity and Reliability of Consumer-wearable Activity Trackers for Prediction of Energy Expenditure Among Older Adults

The wearable device market is rapidly increasing and commercially available devices are now widely used by the general public to track physical activity and promote weight loss. This study, funded by the Edge Hill University Research Investment Fund, aims to examine the accuracy of consumer-wearable activity trackers in assessing energy expenditure among older adults for various activities and sedentary behaviours.

For more information contact: Dr Whitney Curry (PI)

Completed Projects

Born to Move

born to move project imageBorn to Move (BTM) is a school-based physical activity and fitness programme delivered by certified Les Mills instructors. The BTM pilot project involved four West Lancashire primary schools and aimed to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of the programme in Year 6 children.

Published article

For more information contact: Prof. Stuart Fairclough (PI):