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Wearable tech to measure schoolkids’ activity

The Yorkshire Cricket Foundation have launched a pilot scheme to measure health outcomes and increase physical activity levels in primary school children by using wearable technology.

Meadowfield Primary School in Leeds will take part in an Introduction to Cricket Course, spanning five weeks at the Yorkshire Cricket Centre, with the main goal being to motivate children to move more by measuring their steps per session.

In 2016, it was reported that almost a third of children aged two to 15 in the UK are either overweight or obese, with more children now becoming obese at earlier stages of their lives and staying in the obese category for longer. Read the Government’s report.

Many different influences can lead individuals to become overweight or obese but an imbalance between energy consumed through food and activity output is deemed responsible as the root cause. Therefore it is important for schools and the community to engage with programmes that contribute to sustainable change.

The inclusion of health technology such as pedometers into daily routine is proven to increase motivation, goal-setting and intrinsic incentivisation which leads to an increase in physical activity due to behaviour change.

“We are very interested to see how the children will react to the Boost technology over the five-week period,” said Will Saville, Foundation Manager.

“This is the first time the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation have used wearable health technology, so we are keen to understand how this may influence health-related behaviours and how we may be able to roll this out over some of our other projects.”

The ‘Boost’ bands will provide children with a pedometer to wear during sessions to count the number of steps and distance they travel. They will then earn stickers and rewards according to their efforts and parents will receive a text message each week outlining how active their child has been.

Tom Gribbin, the Founder of Boost, said: “Boost makes physical activity more fun, engaging and rewarding for participants. We are delighted to be partnering with the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation and Meadowfield Primary School to help get their pupils more active. Alongside the health benefits of physical activity, we want to understand the impact Boost can have on attainment, confidence and wellbeing within the classroom.”

The pilot study will allow the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation to see the effectiveness of using this type of technology with children, and how this can be best transferred across other Yorkshire Cricket community projects.

To find out more about the Foundation click here or follow @YCCC_YCF on Twitter.

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