How does the project work?

The PEAR Project will be collecting data from Year 9 students across Bristol and the South West over a 12 month period from February 2013 to February 2014.  We will be coming in to your school to ask you to take part at some point soon, if we haven’t already done so!

If you decide to take part you will be asked to do four things for the project:

  1. In order to find out from you about your neighbourhood we will ask you to complete some questionnaires.
  2. To chart the growth and development of year 9 pupils at your school we will take some basic body measurements.
  3. To see where you are active outdoors in your normal daily life we will ask you to wear a belt with an activity monitor and a location tracker on it.


All participants in PEAR are asked to complete a questionnaire. This is broken into three separate sections to make it easier to complete, and it is completed on handheld electronic devices. 

The questionnaire asks about your neighbourhood; how easy or difficult is it to get around your local area; how safe do you feel when you do; where do you like to spend time, how do you get to and from these places and who do you like to go there with?

Body measurements

All of the measurements are taken by trained University of Bristol researchers, and the measurement session takes place in school. You will be measured in your normal school uniform but are asked to take off your shoes and your jumpers or coats if you are wearing them. We take these measurements in order to look at the relationships between activity, time outdoors and health.

The measurements include...

  • Height – using a portable height meter
  • Weight – using portable electronic scales
  • Waist circumference – using a body tape measure

Activity and location: the Belt

You will wear an elastic belt with two electronic devices attached to it – a location device called a GPS receiver, and an activity monitor called an accelerometer.

Why does PEAR use GPS?

When we receive your GPS receiver back we can download data that tells us where and when you went outdoors. It also records how fast you were travelling and when you moved from place to place. We put your GPS data together with data from all the other students in the study so that we can answer questions like:

  • Which destinations are popular for different young people?
  • How much time do young people spend outdoors after school?
  • Do young people who walk home from school spend more time playing outdoors?
  • How could we change the physical features of our environment so that it is more attractive for young people to spend time in?

Why does PEAR use activity monitors?

The GPS receivers can tell us where you were active, but not how active you were when you were there. This is what the accelerometers will tell us. We will put all the data from all the PEAR children together to answer questions such as:

  • Which locations do young people make most use of in their neighbourhoods?
  • Are particular locations associated with different levels of physical activity?
Electronic tablets

The questionnaires are completed on handheld electronic tablets

Socks on scales

Body measurements such as weight will be taken


GPS helps us keep a record of when you went outdoors


Your belts help us keep a record of your physical activity



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