Completed projects

CLASS Children's Leisure Activities Study
CLASS (pdf 416KB) explored the family environment as a potentially potent source of influence on children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviours. CLASS was the first study in Australia to examine children’s physical activity levels objectively using activity monitors (accelerometers).   Measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviours included a parent’s survey, children’s survey, height and weight measures and objectively measured physical activity.

Children aged 5-6 (prep) and 10-12 (grades 5-6) and their parents were recruited from state primary schools in high and low SES suburbs of metropolitan Melbourne. The study involved more than 1200 families.

CLAN – Children Living in Active Neighbourhoods
CLAN followed on from CLASS and involved 3 main aspects:

  1. Surveys of parents, seeking demographic information that could be used to identify socioeconomic status and proximity to public open spaces
  2. An audit of public open spaces in terms of the features and amenities offered and
  3. Direct measurement of physical activity among participating children

It aimed to track changes in children's physical activity and sedentary behaviours over five years, examine why children's activity levels decline as they enter and move through adolescence, and examine the influence of the neighbourhood on children's physical activity and sedentary behaviours.
Participants were recruited from those who had participated previously in the CLASS study conducted in 2001.  Data was collected on almost 600 families in 2004.  Data was again collected from just over 500 families in 2006.

HEAPS - Healthy Eating And Play Study
The HEAP study was a longitudinal study that aimed to investigate the contextual influences on changes in children's eating, physical activity and obesity throughout childhood and adolescence. The study involved 1,560 children (aged 5-6 years and 10-12 years) at baseline in 2002/3.  The first follow up of children was conducted in 2006 with data collected from 407 families.  The second follow up in 2008 involved 377 families. Data collection included a parent survey, proxy report survey, accelerometry, measured height and weight of the child and GIS assessment of the child’s physical activity and food environments.

Switch Play and Switch -2-Activity Studies
The “Switch-Play” study aimed to reduce sedentary behaviours, increase physical activity and enjoyment of physical activity, and prevent unhealthy weight gain among 10 year old children.  The program was implemented over 12 months and included behavioural modification lessons to reduce sedentary behaviours and fundamental motor skills (FMS) lessons to improve skills and increase physical activity. 

The “Switch-Play” program was incorporated into the school curriculum and data collected for 311 children.  The impact of the program was assessed 12 months, 18 months and 24 months after commencement of the program.  Measurements included; time spent in sedentary behaviours and physical activity, the child’s height and weight, enjoyment of physical activity, and mastery of FMS.

The “Switch-2-Activity” study aimed to assess the effectiveness and efficacy of components of the “Switch-Play” study in a research-to-practice trial (i.e. real world setting) to reduce the time children spent watching television.  The intervention demonstrated positive effects on sedentary self-efficacy and on children’s TV viewing styles, was easy to deliver and enjoyed by the students. The program is being offered in Victorian primary schools through the Kids Go For Your Life physical activity initiative.

YEP – Youth Eating Patterns
The YEP study aimed to investigate the personal, social and environmental influences on changes in adolescents' food consumption behaviours from early to late adolescence

CAFE –Children's And Family Eating
The CAFE study aimed to examine relations between 5-6 year-old children's food consumption and aspects of the family environment considered likely to be influential in the development of their eating behaviours, including parental modelling of eating, food availability, parent feeding style, television viewing, and parental perceptions of child diet. 

PARKS - Parks And Recreation for Kids Study
The PARK study aimed to gain a better understanding of the role of the built and open environments in influencing children's active play, incidental activity, and independent mobility.

 Socio-economic influences on eating, physical activity & sedentary behaviour
The Socio-Economic Status and Activity in Women SESAW (pdf 113KB) study aimed to investigate the reasons that women of lower socioeconomic status (SES) are less physically active, and eat less healthy diets, than women of higher SES. The Resilience for Eating and Activity Despite Inequality (READI) study aims to determine the pathways by which social and economic disadvantage lead to increased risk of obesity and associated chronic diseases among women and children and to determine how this risk can be reduced.

STRONG - the strength training ongoing study
What is the STRONG study?

The strength training ongoing study (STRONG) study was conducted by Deakin University, in conjunction with Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. The study was funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

It was a comparison trial looking at two conditions: 1) Participants completed a 6 month supervised group-based strength training program; and 2) Participants completed a 6 month supervised group-based strength training program with additional motivationally tailored phone support. Participants were randomly selected to a group, based on the research gym they had joined.

The study investigated participants' adherence and maintenance of the strength training program, as well as glycaemic control, muscle strength, body composition and other changes seen with strength training.


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