Schools Study: Young People and Physical Activity

As part of the GoWell East study, six secondary schools in different parts of the city are participating in a research project designed to investigate levels of participation in physical activity before and after the Commonwealth Games. 

What are we trying to find out?

There was a lot of activity in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In Glasgow, some existing facilities were upgraded and new sports venues have been built. Many schools and organisations, at both local and national levels, also developed ideas about using the Games as a way of drawing attention to the importance of physical activity.

We want to find out what these improved facilities, associated sports programmes and the high profile of the Games themselves meant for young people in Glasgow. Did we see an increase in the proportion of young people taking part in sports? 

How are we investigating? 

The study runs from 2013-2017, so that the research team can survey the same group of young people annually, throughout their secondary school career. Each year, a smaller group of pupils will also wear measuring devices for a few days to learn more about how much physical activity they do and where they tend to do it. This will help us to learn more about the importance of the neighbourhood environment (including access to green space and sports venues) in youth physical activity. 

Who is supporting the research? 

The research is supported by Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government and sportscotland.   These organisations are all interested to know how and in what way 2014 Commonwealth Games activities are affecting young people in the city -  including those living near to and further away from the main Games venues. 

What will we do with our findings?

Every year, findings from the research study are reported to the schools and the local education authority, to help them understand what sort of activities young people in Glasgow are involved with.  We can also see how those activities are changing as the students progress through their secondary school careers. Other organisations, such as the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, and sportscotland can also use the results to see how important it is to support activities for young people.

Learning more

For participating schools, the research team can offer presentations on findings from the research or, in consultation with teaching staff, offer sessions for each  relevant topic, such as health in communities, urban regeneration or the benefits of sports and physical activity.

Reports from this strand of research will be available to download in our Publications section. If you would like more information about the research please email Dr Julie Clark