Engaging children in physical activity: Kelly Mackintosh

Engaging children in physical activity: Kelly Mackintosh

Engaging children in physical activity: Kelly Mackintosh

Introduction

The current Chief Medical Officers’ guidelines recommend that children aged 5-18 years should engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day. However, research conducted by Sport England shows that 55% of children and young people are not meeting these guidelines.

"My Fellowship, without doubt, enhanced my confidence and re-instilled my passion to push for what I believe in." - Kelly Mackintosh, Fellow

Professor Kelly Mackintosh (CF 2015) leads the Exercise, Medicine and Health research group at Swansea University. In 2016 Kelly worked with colleagues to develop an initiative in south Wales providing children with 3D models of their physical activity levels, helping them to understand the importance of physical activity for staying healthy. This work resulted in her being invited to give a keynote presentation at a Public Health Wales conference in 2017, on integrating health promotion in a digital era to encourage people to be more physically active. Kelly is now part of a university team which has run international workshops in the USA and Canada on using 3D printing to understand and motivate movement in children, and she has also published research on machine learning with colleagues in the USA.

Kelly has been instrumental in the establishment of the Welsh Institute of Physical Activity and Sport, which is a partnership between Sport Wales and all higher education institutes across Wales. The initiative brings together academia, those facilitating physical activity, policymakers and the public, to address fundamental questions surrounding society’s health and wellbeing. Kelly is currently on the Chief Medical Officer’s expert committee for surveillance where she has largely contributed to the use of device-based measures for assessing physical activity levels.

While completing a PhD on physical activity and health, Kelly discovered that a large proportion of children were not engaging in the recommended amount of physical activity and set about exploring the barriers that meant children were failing to meet these guidelines. Her Fellowship to Australia researched effective ways of measuring and visualising children’s physical activity levels.

Kelly says, “My Fellowship, without doubt, enhanced my confidence and re-instilled my passion to push for what I believe in. It has contributed to the development of my professional development network in the UK and I’m still working with the people I visited as part of my travels.”

"My Fellowship, without doubt, enhanced my confidence and re-instilled my passion to push for what I believe in." - Kelly Mackintosh, Fellow

Professor Kelly Mackintosh (CF 2015) leads the Exercise, Medicine and Health research group at Swansea University. In 2016 Kelly worked with colleagues to develop an initiative in south Wales providing children with 3D models of their physical activity levels, helping them to understand the importance of physical activity for staying healthy. This work resulted in her being invited to give a keynote presentation at a Public Health Wales conference in 2017, on integrating health promotion in a digital era to encourage people to be more physically active. Kelly is now part of a university team which has run international workshops in the USA and Canada on using 3D printing to understand and motivate movement in children, and she has also published research on machine learning with colleagues in the USA.

Kelly has been instrumental in the establishment of the Welsh Institute of Physical Activity and Sport, which is a partnership between Sport Wales and all higher education institutes across Wales. The initiative brings together academia, those facilitating physical activity, policymakers and the public, to address fundamental questions surrounding society’s health and wellbeing. Kelly is currently on the Chief Medical Officer’s expert committee for surveillance where she has largely contributed to the use of device-based measures for assessing physical activity levels.

While completing a PhD on physical activity and health, Kelly discovered that a large proportion of children were not engaging in the recommended amount of physical activity and set about exploring the barriers that meant children were failing to meet these guidelines. Her Fellowship to Australia researched effective ways of measuring and visualising children’s physical activity levels.

Kelly says, “My Fellowship, without doubt, enhanced my confidence and re-instilled my passion to push for what I believe in. It has contributed to the development of my professional development network in the UK and I’m still working with the people I visited as part of my travels.”