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Researchers appeal to schools to help with family lifestyle study

Loughborough University researchers have launched an ‘exciting’ three year project aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle for families.

The project, which is being funded by the British Heart Foundation, is called Kids-FIRST and the researchers will examine how parents and their children spend their leisure time.

It will build on Loughborough University’s expertise and the researchers will  look at lifestyle behaviours of parents and their children in a bid to help them live healthier lives now and in the future. 

Dr Emma Haycraft, who is overseeing the project which started at the beginning of this month, said: “This is a really exciting project which has the potential to inform us about the everyday lifestyle behaviours of children and families.

“By knowing more about what parents and children do in their free time, we will be able to devise resources to help promote healthier lifestyles in families with children of all ages.”

As part of the programmes of work that will be carried out through the project, the researchers will be recruiting schools in the East Midlands to take part.

Dr Natalie Pearson, lead researcher on the project, said: “In the schools we will be asking children aged 5-6 years and 11-12 years to answer some questionnaires, wear activity monitors and keep a diary.

“We will also be asking for parents to complete questionnaires and wear activity monitors.  If any schools or families would like to take part, please contact one of us.”

This project will be of great value to schools and families as the researchers will be able to provide feedback to schools on school-level lifestyle behaviours and families will receive detailed family-specific feedback on their lifestyle behaviours.

Dr Pearson said: “The feedback we have provided to schools and families from research projects in the past has been very well received.

“In schools, the type of feedback we provide can contribute towards Healthy Schools Status and other awards. In the past, families have also found it really useful to have detailed information on the use of their leisure time”.

Any schools interested in taking part in the project should contact: Dr Natalie Pearson – lead researcher:; Tel: 01509 226448; or Dr Emma Haycraft – Principal Investigator:;  Tel: 01509 228160.


Notes for editors

Press release reference number: PR 13/35

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the Best Student Experience in England every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.


Chris Goddard
PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491

PR team

Telephone: 01509 222224