The majority of youth of all ages fail to meet international guidelines for the level of activity required for optimal health. In addition, physical activity decline throughout adolescence, reducing by approximately 4% per year. The aim of PEACH was to identify modifiable determinants of physical activity in adolescence. In the first phase of the study, 1307 Bristol children in their final year of primary school (11 years of age) were measured, of whom 958 were re-measured one year later in their first year of secondary school and 586 three years later when aged 15yrs.

A major focus of PEACH was to explore the contribution of walking to school to young people’s physical activity. To do this a method of combining activity monitor and GPS data was developed in order to describe the level and location of physical activity outdoors. A major finding was that overall physical activity did not decline between primary and secondary school in this sample of children, but that travel mode to school was strongly associated with changes in MVPA across the transition. Children who continued to walk to school at secondary school increased daily MVPA whilst those moving to motorised travel had significantly lower MVPA [1]. In addition, activity and GPS data showed that time outdoors was an important contributor of MVPA, with activity levels three times higher outdoors than indoors [2] and activity levels in greenspace such as parks higher than when not in greenspace [3]. 



Southward EF, Page AS, Wheeler BW, Cooper AR. (2012). Contribution of the school journey to daily physical activity in children aged 11-12 years. American Journal of Preventive Medicine;43(2):201-204.

Laschowitz K, Jones AP, Page AS, Wheeler BW, Cooper AR. (2012). What can global positioning systems tell us about the contribution of different types of urban greenspace to children's physical activity? Health and Place;18:586-594.

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