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Physical Activity Exchange

Promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour

Delivering world class research and applied solutions for better health and well-being

The Physical Activity Exchange is committed to research that impacts policy and practice in physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health. For over 20 years we have successfully worked in partnership with local government, public health, industry and the third sector, providing a broad range of research, education and consultancy solutions.

We work together with funders, commissioners, practitioners and service users to co-produce evidence-based interventions that are feasible, effective and sustainable in real-world settings.

Our research uses the best available science, employing mixed methods approaches to understand and change behaviour in populations ranging from pre-school children through to older adults. 

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Our expertise
  • We research and evaluate the effects of physical activity and sedentary behaviour on health and well-being
  • We use robust scientific measures to provide information on levels of physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health
  • We explore factors that affect participation in physical activity and sedentary behaviour
  • We design, implement and evaluate interventions to change behaviour
  • We share and communicate our evidence and research findings in order to improve policy and practice
Key research themes
  • School-based physical activity promotion and sedentary behaviour reduction
  • Improving physical literacy across the life-course
  • Family-based interventions for promoting physical activity and reducing sedentary behaviour
  • Physical activity, exercise and weight management in populations with or at risk of disease
  • Workplace health promotion
  • Health interventions in natural outdoor spaces
  • Community-based interventions to improve physical activity and sport participation
  • Interventions implemented through sport organisations to improve health

To find out more about what the Physical Activity Exchange does, take a look at our brochure.

Download the brochure


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Case study

Falling levels of physical activity amongst children is a global problem with far reaching and costly consequences for health and well-being across the lifespan. Modifying children’s play spaces can significantly increase activity levels over a sustained period, with the potential for generating important short and long-term health benefits.

Read the case study: Designed for health - increasing activity by adapting play environments

Physical Activity Exchange Seminar Series

Physical Activity Exchange Seminar Series – 180117 Children’s Physical Activity – Part 1

Physical Activity Exchange Seminar Series – 180117 Children’s Physical Activity – Part 2

Publications

Search publications written by members of the Physical Activity Exchange.

Search for a research paper

33 papers found

  • “I am wary of giving too much power to students:” Addressing the “but” in the Principle of Staff-Student Partnership

    Murphy R, Nixon S and Brooman S and Fearon D

    Publish date:2017

  • A machine learning approach to measure and monitor physical activity in children

    Fergus P, Hussain AJ, Hearty J, Fairclough S, Boddy L, Mackintosh K, Stratton G, Ridgers N, Al-Jumeily D and Aljaaf AJ and Lunn J

    Publish date:2017

  • Cerebral blood flow and cerebrovascular reactivity to CO2 is not improved by exercise training in the cold

    France M, Miller GD, Low DA, George KP and Cable NT and Jones H

    Publish date:2017

  • Clarity, consistency and communication: using enhanced dialogue to create a course-based feedback strategy

    Nixon S, Brooman S and Murphy B and Fearon D

    Publish date:2017

  • Comparison of children's free-living physical activity derived from wrist and hip raw accelerations during the segmented week

    Noonan RJ, Boddy LM, Kim Y and Knowles ZR and Fairclough SJ

    Publish date:2017

  • Context matters! sources of variability in weekend physical activity among families: a repeated measures study

    Noonan RJ, Fairclough SJ and Knowles ZR and Boddy LM

    Publish date:2017

Collaborations and projects

Find out who we work with and the types of projects we're involved in.

Collaborations (non-academic)

Project:

Collaborator:

SOKKA Schools project

SOKKA Ltd

Activity Monitoring Compliance project

Developing Well (5-19 years) Start Well Team, Wigan Council

Healthy Workforce project

Ergotron Ltd
UniHealth Ltd

Breast Cancer projects

Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre, UHSM

Multiple projects and strategic partnership

Liverpool City Council and Lifestyles Fitness Centres

Blackburn with Darwen pre-school child weight project

Blackburn with Darwen Council (Public Health)

WLCT Active Living programme uptake project

WLCT Active Living

Current projects

 

Physical Activity - Active Play

Active Play (FMS): PhD project

Active Play (FMS) aims to assess the fundamental movement skill proficiency of preschool children; evaluate the effectiveness of Active Play in helping to improve preschool children’s fundamental movement skill proficiency; examine the relationship between fundamental movement skills and physical activity amongst preschool children.
Contact for more information: Dr Zoe Knowles, PhD Student: Jonathan Foulkes

 

Compliance - Physical Activity Exchange project

 

Activity Monitoring Compliance: PhD project

The aim of this project is to generate original knowledge on how researchers and practitioners can promote compliance to habitual physical activity monitoring using accelerometers in children and young people.
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves, PhD Student: Deborah McCann

 

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Blackburn with Darwen pre-school child weight project: Matched-funded PhD

This mixed-method study aims to develop and evaluate a multi-agency approach to promote healthy weight in pre-school children.
Contact for more information: Dr Paula Watson, PhD Student: Daisy Bradbury

 

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Breast cancer projects

In collaboration with the Genesis Breast Cancer Prevention Centre at the University Hospital South Manchester, these projects investigate physical activity in breast cancer patients and evaluate the effect of nutrition and physical activity interventions on behaviour and health outcomes.
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves

 

Lifestyles Fitness Centres logo

 

Exercise for Health Evaluation

This project draws on psychological theory (self-determination theory) to compare the effectiveness of two different delivery approaches of a GP exercise referral scheme.
Contact for more information: Dr Paula Watson

 

Standing up at workstation

 

Healthy workforce projects

Lab and field-based studies are investigating ways to promote health through reduced sitting and increased movement at work. This includes a health screening project in partnership with UniHealth Ltd and collaborative multi-site interventions in partnership with Ergotron Ltd.
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves

 

Sokka

 

SOKKA Schools Programme: Matched-funded PhD

This aim of this project is to develop and evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of the original SOKKA Schools programme to promote child health through creation of a physical activity permissive culture within primary schools. This PhD is matched funded by SOKKA.
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves, PhD Student: Matthew Domville

 

Mersey Forest

 

The Natural Health Service Evaluation: Matched-funded PhD project

This project aims to assess the health and wellbeing benefits of interventions in the natural environment. This will inform the future development and delivery of The Mersey Forest’s Natural Health Service.
Contact for more information: Dr Kaye Richards (EHC Faculty) and Dr Zoe Knowles, PhD Student: Clare Austin

 

WLCT logo

 

WLCT Active Living uptake project

This mixed-method study draws on a socio-ecological framework to explore the reasons for non-uptake to community health initiatives, with the aim of informing future interventions to improve uptake to community health initiatives. This study is funded by WLCT Active Living Team.
Contact for more information: Dr Paula Watson, MPhil student: Sarah Birtwistle


Investigating Non-School Time Physical Activity in Children: PhD Project

The aim of this study is to investigate the physical activity levels of children and families in non-school time.
Contact for more information: Dr Lynne Boddy, PhD Student: Rob Noonan

Investigating Physical Activity in Youth with Intellectual Disabilities

The aim of this project is to establish the physical activity levels and play behaviours of children and young people with intellectual disabilities. We are also trying to positively influence physical activity and associated behaviours through theoretically driven interventions.
Contact for more information: Dr Lynne Boddy

SportsLinx-SwanLinx-Uniactive International Fitness Study

The aim of this study is to examine fitness and associated variables using large-scale datasets from the UK and Australia. This research project is a collaboration between LJMU, Swansea University and the University of Western Australia.
Contact for more information: Dr Lynne Boddy

Youth Physical Activity Measurement Study UK

The aim is to calibrate the Youth Activity Profile and examine the physical activity levels of children and young people across the UK. This research is a partnership between LJMU, Iowa State University, Edge Hill University and the Youth Sport Trust.
Contact for more information: Dr Lynne Boddy

Past projects

 

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A-CLASS project

The A-CLASS (Active City of Liverpool, Active Schools and Sportslinx) Project was a multi-dimensional physical activity intervention conducted in primary school children from deprived areas of Liverpool.
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves

 

Exercise using game console

 

Active Video Gaming projects

This series of projects assessed acute behavioural and physiological responses to active video gaming, and evaluated whether active video games could be used in home and community settings to promote health through reduced sitting and increased movement.
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves

 

Afresh logo

 

AFRESH

AFRESH (Activity and Food for Regional Economies Supporting Health) examined physical activity and nutrition together in order to find solutions for healthy lifestyles. AFRESH was a three-year project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves

 

Alder Hey logo

 

BUPA Cystic Fibrosis project

This research in conjunction with Alder Hey hospital aimed to explore the acceptability, feasibility, and effectiveness of using cutting edge technologies to monitor and report physical activity and sedentary levels of CF patients in free-living environments.
Contact for more information: Dr Zoe Knowles

 

Change logo

 

CHANGE!

The Children’s Health, Activity and Nutrition: Get Educated! project (CHANGE!) was a school based intervention study to promote physical activity and health eating in 10-11 year old children. Significant intervention effects were observed upon body mass index and light intensity physical activity.
Contact for more information: Dr Lynne Boddy

 

Goals logo

 

Getting Our Active Lifestyles Started (GOALS)

This project (2003-2013) developed and evaluated a family-based behaviour change programme for overweight children, in collaboration with the University of Salford, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool City Council and Liverpool PCT.
Contact for more information: Dr Paula Watson

 

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships

 

Knowledge Transfer Partnership

This Department of Health funded project brought together LJMU and SHOKK Ltd (later Destination Youth Ltd) to collate and generate cutting-edge science to validate and inform the development of company products and services that encourage behaviour change in young people.
Contact for more information: Dr Lee Graves

 

Playground

 

Liverpool Sporting Playgrounds project

This project investigated the effectiveness and sustainability of a playground markings and physical structures intervention (Zoneparc model) on boy’s and girls’ physical activity levels and play behaviour.
Contact for more information: Dr Zoe Knowles

 

Mersey Forest

 

Natural Health Service

This research examined the effectiveness of the Natural Health Service in improving health and wellbeing; and assessed programme delivery to inform future intervention.
Contact for more information: Dr Zoe Knowles

 

Sports Linx

 

SportsLinx

This health and fitness screening project was a collaborative partnership between LJMU and Liverpool City Council. Through field-based fitness testing and surveys, SportsLinx built up a substantial data archive, including measures of body size, fitness, diet and health on >60,000 participants. Research into the health, fitness, diet and lifestyles of children is ongoing.
Contact for more information: Dr Lynne Boddy

Active Play (preschool)

The aims of the Active Play research programme were to evaluate the effectiveness of a school based active play intervention at decreasing sedentary time and increasing physical activity in preschool children and to investigate patterns of physical activity in preschool children.
Contact for more information: Dr Zoe Knowles

Fathers Engagement project

This 12-month intervention and evaluation project explored the impact of a six session physical activity intervention on fathers’/male carers’ engagement with their preschool children and evaluated the programme content/delivery and perceived changes in fathers’/male carers' engagement and associated behaviours with their children.
Contact for more information: Dr Zoe Knowles

Reach Y6 Study

This study was conducted in partnership with Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, the University of Ulster, and collaborators from Swansea University. The research investigated the relationships between physical activity, body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness and cardiometabolic risk in 9-11yr old schoolchildren.
Contact for more information: Dr Lynne Boddy

Sefton Active Play project

The Sefton Active Play Project used quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate three main components: a social marketing campaign, Active Play training for early years practitioners and an active play charter.
Contact for more information: Dr Zoe Knowles

People

Meet the members of our research group.


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Postgraduate students

Rob Noonan, Clare Austin, Jon Foulkes, Sarah Taylor, Matt Domville, Debbie McCann, Sarah Birtwistle, Daisy Bradbury

Contact us

Please email paex@ljmu.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter.