In a school-based setting, scientists and students (classes 8 and above) work together on a cross-sectional study assessing physical activity and sedentary behavior in students in Berlin and Brandenburg over one week with the activPAL™ accelerometer and identifying factors (behavioral, socio-economic, environmental, and others) that are associated with physical activity and sedentary behavior. In order to identify these factors, the students develop together with scientists from the Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC), a questionnaire to assess factors they consider potential influencing factors of their physical activity and sedentary behavior. In addition, established questionnaires for teachers, parents and students are used. During the field phase, the participating schools are visited up to three times by MDC scientists. Written informed consent from participating students, their parents and teachers is being obtained.
During the scientists’ first visit to the school classes, the students are introduced to the importance of an active lifestyle for health and interactively develop a questionnaire to assess factors they consider potential influencing factors of physical activity and sedentary behaviour. They also participate in the data collection, that is, they wear the activPAL™ accelerometer, a small device to objectively capture the students’ movements from acceleration, over one week, between the first and second visit to the school classes and fill in in questionnaires (newly developed class-specific plus established questionnaire) during the second visit of the MDC scientists to the school class. After the data collection, the data is be anonymized and prepared for in-class analysis and interactive interpretation during the third visit of MDC scientists to the school classes. Thus, in addition to their participation in the data collection, the students actively contribute to the success of the project by providing original ideas and expertise at the beginning, during and at the end of the project.
The aim of “SMOVE - Science that makes me move” is to work together with young citizens on an epidemiologic study in a school-based setting assessing physical activity and sedentary behaviour over one week with the activPAL™ accelerometer and identifying factors that are related to physical activity and sedentary behaviour based on young citizen’s critical input.
How to participate
All interested teachers with their classes in Berlin and Brandenburg from grade 8 were invited to participate in SMOVE. We have finished the data collection with the beginning of the summer vacation 2021. In the sense of Citizen Science, we encourage interested teachers to transfer the concept of SMOVE to their school classes and to carry out their own Citizen Science project. If interested, please contact us and we provide the necessary study documents (e.g. questionnaires).