Name: Olivia Alliott
Based at: University of Cambridge
Supervisors: Dr Esther van Sluijs (University of Cambridge)
Project title: An exploration of the domains, dimensions and correlates and determinants of physical activity during adolescence across socioeconomic strata
Project summary: The relationship between physical activity and health is well established, however many adolescents are insufficiently active to gain the health benefits. To tackle this, governments and public health agencies have promoted the development of universal and targeted interventions to increase physical activity across the population and narrow health inequalities. This is based on the assumptions that inactivity is prevalent across the population and is socially patterned. Whilst evidence supports the former, it is unclear whether there are social disparities in adolescents’ physical activity. Therefore, the objective of my PhD is to investigate whether how adolescents are active differs by socioeconomic position. To do this I plan to examine the different domains (contexts) and dimensions (duration, frequency, intensity, type) of physical activity and the correlates and determinants of these. It is expected that this in-depth exploration will advance our understanding of the relationship between physical activity and socioeconomic position during adolescence, which can be used to inform intervention development.
Stakeholder involvement will play a key role in my PhD. To this end, one of my planned studies involves engaging with practice colleagues and policymakers to help interpret my research and discuss the potential impacts. I also hope to get the opportunity to involve practice colleagues and policymakers throughout the research process, aiding to direct my PhD in a way that will be beneficial to both research and practice progression.
During my PhD I would also like to take the opportunity to pursue a policy/practice placement. I feel this would be a valuable way to experience the practical implications of research and the challenges of translating research into practice.
I hope to involve the public throughout my PhD to keep my research aligned with their views and values. I plan to do this by exploring online methods of public engagement, conducting workshops and presenting in secondary schools, in addition to more intimate methods such as focus groups. By selecting a variety of methods I aim to maximise input from a range of individuals. I also plan to use opportunities on offer through my university such as presenting at the well-known ‘Festival of Ideas.’
Find out more about Olivia’s work.