Let’s Get Physical has proven successful because it:

  • Successfully targets inactive and overweight & obese children
  • Has an evidence-based methodology
  • Sets significant and measurable outcomes
  • Makes maximum use of existing local assets
  • Integrates well with other physical activity and healthy weight services

 

Successful targeting of inactive and overweight & obese children

Like all StreetGames’s programmes, Let’s Get Physical works in areas of high deprivation, where health inequalities are greatest and levels of inactivity and obesity are up to twice the rate of better-off wards.  Let’s Get Physical works by targeting those who are most in need and helping them to take advantage of the same sport and physical activity options available to everyone.  The programme addresses physical competencies, psychological barriers and social factors to make being active a more enjoyable and popular choice, whether that’s through sport, active travel or leisure time.

 

Evidence-based methodology and robust evaluation

Let’s Get Physical is built on the recognition of a community’s role in improving its own health.  It taps into, and invests in, local assets including the skills and talents of the volunteer workforce, the use of facilities and open spaces, and the communications and pathways between organisations.  It is compliant with both NICE and PHE standards, and has been classified as NESTA Level 2 (Emerging Practice).

There is an extensive body of evidence about how to plan, deliver and evaluate effective physical activity interventions for inactive children living in areas of deprivation.  Let’s Get Physical is built on the following evidence-based principles and guidelines:

  • Schools provide the greatest opportunity to create a positive message of physical activity for young people, particularly for those with financial and/or transport issues at home
  • A co-ordinated strategy should include partnership working, evaluation, removal of barriers at a local level and indoor and outdoor activities as part of multi component interventions
  • Activities should be tailored to suit the child’s developmental age and physical ability
  • The greatest impact of physical activity affecting the well-being of a child can be seen for children who previously took part in no activity and began an activity such as walking or cycling, even a small amount of activity has a positive impact on wellbeing
  • Branding is important to young people, and projects need names and brands that appeal
  • Competitive sport provides a particular opportunity for young people to develop their character, resilience, and team working skills
  • Keeping groups small and supportive, connecting activity with feeling good and not bringing ‘sport’ into it, is how to attract ‘cautious introverts’ who have the lowest levels of activity

 

Significant and measurable outcomes

The outcomes for Let’s Get Physical are agreed with the commissioner at the outset.  These are usually customised to match local priorities and may include:

  • Increased physical activity levels amongst inactive young people (measured at 3 and 6 month intervals using the validated PAQ-C questionnaire)
  • Increased awareness of nutrition and healthy eating habits
  • Increased self-confidence, and motivation to continue being active, as an indicator of behaviour change
  • Stronger partnerships between local agencies working towards a common goal of improving health and reducing inequalities
  • Increased capacity via a better trained and supported volunteer workforce
  • Improved pathways into community-based activity for inactive young people
  • Improved understanding of replicable and sustainable methods for increasing physical activity amongst inactive young people

To monitor whom the programme is reaching and with what impact, demographic details of all children taking part in the programme are recorded. Including age, gender, race & ethnicity and post code (used to confirm socio-economic status).

At baseline and 3- or 6-month intervals, measurements are taken of:

  • Overall physical activity levels
  • Healthy eating habits
  • Wellbeing

As part of each programme, case studies and the views of commissioners, teachers, school governors, parents and community workers are collated to provide qualitative information about how the programme is running and being received.

A detailed Service Specification provides the basis for monitoring all processes relating to planning, promotion, delivery and evaluation.

Detailed quarterly and final monitoring reports are provided for commissioners, including progress against key performance indicators.  At the commissioner’s request, an external evaluator may also be appointed.

 

Maximising the use of existing local assets

StreetGames is practiced in implementing the powerful evidence behind community- and family-based interventions and the role of parents, champions, volunteers and peer mentors:

  • Family interventions should include the education and awareness raising of recommendations and benefits, family activity sessions and the involvement of parents and carers
  • Weight management programmes, including physical activity, that incorporate the family and are acceptable to all, will have a greater chance of success
  • Volunteering impacts positively on family relationships, health, quality of life, self-esteem and sense of purpose
  •  Peer education and support are most acceptable to young people because they are empowering for both the giver and the recipient, and bypass resistance to traditional messages and messengers

 

Integration with other physical activity and healthy weight services

Let’s Get Physical works best when it is commissioned as part of a strategic approach to increasing physical activity and weight management.  As a Tier 2 Lifestyle Intervention, it complements Tier One universal services and population-level campaigns, and it can also be used to prepare individuals for more targeted (Tier Three) interventions if required.

StreetGames is adept at fostering strong and lasting partnerships between agencies across multiple fields, including public health, education, community safety, leisure and youth services across both the public and voluntary sectors.  Together and working alongside parents, these agencies provide the support and infrastructure within which young people study and play.  Increasing awareness and communications between them supports signposting and helps the various agencies to be even more efficient and effective.

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