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  4. Development and evaluation of the ‘Let’s Move It’




Development and evaluation of the ‘Let’s Move It’



Public, Staff, Students, Alumni

Speaker: Nelli Hankonen

A school-based multilevel intervention to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour among older adolescents in vocational secondary schools


Physical activity (PA) has been shown to decline during adolescence, and those with lower education have lower levels of activity already at this age, calling for targeted efforts for them. No previous study has demonstrated lasting effects of school-based PA interventions among older adolescents. Furthermore, these interventions have rarely targeted sedentary behaviour (SB).

This talk will present work carried out over six years to develop and evaluate a multi-level school-based intervention to promote PA and reduce excessive SB. I briely describe and illustrate the intervention development process from the initial needs assessment to intervention refinement and optimization after a feasibility study leading to the final intervention. The development drew on both intervention mapping and behaviour change wheel approaches. The main theories underlying the intervention are self-determination theory, reasoned action approach, and self-regulation and habit formation approaches. The ‘Let’s Move It’ intervention includes elements directly and indirectly targeting students either by changing teacher behavior or the school setting environment.

The intervention consists of

    1. group sessions and poster campaign targeting students’ autonomous PA motivation and self-regulation skills,

    2. sitting reduction in classrooms via alterations in choice architecture and teacher behaviour, and

    3. enhancement of PA opportunities in school, home and community environments.

Finally, I will also give a brief overview of the effectiveness evaluation that used a cluster randomised design. Altogether 1120 adolescents gave consent to participate at baseline, and follow-up measurements were taken at 2 months and 14 months after the baseline.Primary outcomes are MVPA measured by 7-day accelerometry and self-report, and for SB, sedentary time and breaks in sedentary time (accelerometry). We are also conducting process evaluation. For example, we examine hypothesised mediating paths (e.g. autonomous motivation, enactment of behaviour change techniques). We also analyse interviews, conducted in a subsample of trial participants, to understand in depth how adolescents received the intervention receipt, and what they perceived to be critical incidents that changed their thoughts and behaviour related to PA.

About the speaker

Nelli Hankonen is an Assistant Professor of social psychology at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research focuses on behaviour change and intervention methods. Nelli’s research team aims to test and develop social psychological theories of motivation and behaviour change and interpersonal interaction in intervention studies in the real world. Using a multitude of methodological approaches, she aims to better understand social and psychological aspects of change. She is currently a Principal Investigator of 4 externally funded projects.

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When and where

12.30pm - 2.00pmMonday 26th November 2018

Convocation Suite Centenary Building City, University of London Spencer Street London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom