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Sophie Phillips

Name: Sophie Phillips

Based at: Fuse, Durham University

Supervisors: Dr Frances Hillier-Brown (Fuse, Durham University), Professor Carolyn Summerbell (Fuse, Durham University), Professor Sonia Saxena (Imperial College London) and Dr Kathryn Hesketh (University College London).

Project title: Assessing options for the measurement of movement-related behaviours in pre-school children from socio-economically deprived communities at scale.

Project summary: This project aims to explore the physical activity, sedentary behaviours and sleep of pre-school children (aged 3-4 years). The project is focusing on how we can accurately measure these behaviours within this age group, on a large scale. As part of this, the present research aims to engage with parents and carers of pre-school children to devise measurement tools that would be suitable for this purpose. The project then aims to evaluate these tools to ensure that they are reliable, valid and feasible for use. The project has a health inequalities focus, by targeting and involving individuals from lower socio-economic status areas, to ensure representation of these groups.

This work is important, as the accurate measurement of the movement-related behaviours of pre-school children on a large scale is crucial, in order to: determine prevalence rates of these behaviours; survey guidelines; guide the development of policies and programmes; establish how the behaviours relate to other health, wellbeing and developmental outcomes; demonstrate whether interventions and initiatives aimed at improving the movement related behaviours of pre-school children are effective.

Practice engagement: The project involves working alongside ‘A Better Start’ (ABS), a programme and evaluation aimed at reducing inequalities and improving the life chances of young children. I have engaged with ABS from the onset of the project, to ensure that the research was guided by, and is relevant to, current practice. Further to this, I have practice advisors from one of the ABS sites, whom advise on both practical and methodological aspects of the project.

Public engagement: The project involves engaging parents and carers of pre-school children in various ways, both with the design and direction of the research, including how the research will be conducted and what this will involve. In addition to this, the new tools being devised as part of the project will be developed with parents and carers to ensure that the outcomes are appropriate and feasible to these individuals.

Find out more about Sophie’s work.

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