How Do You Move? Improving the communication of the national physical activity guidelines

WestPublic Health
Published Date: 26 Mar 2019

How Do You Move? Improving the communication of the national physical activity guidelines

The UK Chief Medical Officers (CMO) are due to publish new guidelines on physical activity in 2019. Based on a comprehensive review of the latest research, they will recommend how much physical activity we should do and what types most benefit our health.

In the past, physical activity guidelines have been tricky to understand and difficult to follow. This project, led by the CLAHRC West team alongside collaborators Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC), will make them more meaningful and useful for members of the public.

The How Do You Move? project will be in three parts:

  1. First, working with four community groups in Bristol, we will run workshops to understand what physical activity means to them, and how best to communicate physical activity messages to their community.
  2. Our second piece of work will use an approach called ‘creative non-fiction’ (CNF) to create several emotive, first person case studies that illustrate how people have managed to be active, co-produced with some of the workshop participants. KWMC will work with them to create short films based on each case study.
  3. Lastly, we will create a toolkit for communications and healthcare professionals that provides advice and guidance on how to tailor physical activity messages to various community groups. We will work with communications and healthcare professionals to ensure that the toolkit is as useful as possible. It will include information about the language people prefer and the best ways to share physical activity messages, for example via videos, pictures, or media campaigns.

Underpinning this project is KWMC’s framework for community engagement – the “Bristol Approach”. This ensures the public are involved in the design, testing and evaluation of socially-beneficial products, such as the physical activity guidelines. The Bristol Approach has been used on issues such as food waste and damp in homes. How Do You Move? will strengthen the Bristol Approach by applying it in a new area.

The Brigstow Institute, University of Bristol, has funded the first two stages of this project.

This project aims to:

  • Make the physical activity guidelines more meaningful for different groups of people
  • Understand how some people manage to be active in our modern world, which encourages inactivity
  • Create a toolkit for professionals to help them communicate the physical activity guidelines

There are endless benefits of physical activity, both for individuals and society, so it’s essential to encourage people to be physically active in the most effective way.

With the support of the community groups, this work should help ensure that more people are aware of physical activity and the guidelines, as well as improving communication on this topic.