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Increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary time in children using smartphone apps

Dr Stephanie Schoeppe, Institution: Central Queensland University

2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship

Years funded: 2017-2023


Physical inactivity and high sedentary time are major CVD risk factors in Australian children leading to childhood obesity and the metabolic syndrome. As parents are important role models for children’s health behaviours, a family-based smartphone intervention to help children and parents become more active and less sedentary, provides an innovative approach that can reach large numbers of children and parents.

The overall aims of my proposed research are:

1. To investigate how both mothers and fathers can support and model more physical activity and less sedentary time to their children, and how this knowledge can be applied in family-based interventions.

2. To examine what features in existing smartphone apps are best suited for increasing physical activity and reducing sedentary time in children in a family context.

3. To test the feasibility and efficacy of an innovative family-based smartphone intervention to increase physical activity and reduce sedentary time in children.  

Expected CVD outcomes are:

1. Improved evidence about behavioural CVD risk factors in children in relation to:
  • Maternal and paternal influence on children's health behaviours.
  • What app features are most useful in behaviour change interventions.
  • The efficacy of smartphone interventions to improve physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour in children and parents.
2. Improved CVD-related risk factors in children and parents

This project is co-funded with NHMRC - National Health and Medical Research Council.

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