Researchers from our Physical Activity, Wellness and Public Health Research Group are currently involved with the Sport2PREVENT project, which is funded by the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Sport programme. Dr Anna Myers (research fellow in physical activity and health) is leading Hallam’s involvement.
We have been speaking with Anna to find out more about Sport2PREVENT . . .
What is the aim of the Sport2PREVENT project?
The aim of Sport2PREVENT is to develop an e-learning platform to educate healthcare and exercise professionals about the benefits of physical activity, primarily for the prevention and management of long-term conditions. It is hoped this education will lead to more healthcare and exercise professionals promoting physical activity to their patients and clients. Spanning across five European countries, the project’s consortium consists of five organisations from industry, NGOs and academia. The project itself is being led by the Center of Development in the Mediterranean, a Greek organisation. Here at Hallam, I lead the project, and I am supported by Dr Lambros Lazuras (associate professor of social psychology), from our Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology.
What motivated you to get involved with the project?
Since 2017, I have been involved with the Moving Healthcare Professionals Programme (MHPP), which is a national programme led by Public Health England (PHE), in partnership with Sport England. The MHPP aims to effectively embed physical activity into clinical care for the prevention and management of long-term conditions at a system level. The long-term goal of the programme is to reduce inactivity at a population level and consequently improve health and quality-of-life outcomes.
I saw the Sport2PREVENT project as an opportunity to capitalise on the knowledge and best practices developed in MHPP to inform relevant initiatives in other European countries.
And what makes the project unique?
The Sport2PREVENT project takes a multidisciplinary approach and is also built on university-industry collaboration. It merges scientific research on physical activity participation, technological expertise, and insights from practitioners to address the problem of physical inactivity across Europe. To my knowledge, there is currently no other e-learning platform that provides training for health and exercise professionals about the benefits of physical activity for the prevention and management of long-term conditions that is free to access and available in four languages.
Has the project so far been successful in educating healthcare professionals?
The Sport2PREVENT e-learning platform is still under development. We are currently piloting the e-learning platform with both exercise professionals and our sport and exercise science postgraduate students. This is an excellent opportunity for Hallam students to apply the critical analysis skills they have developed and contribute to real-world research.
Have you had to overcome any challenges whilst being involved with the project?
Inevitably, COVID-19 and the lockdown restrictions have caused disruption to the project. International project meetings and dissemination events have been cancelled or postponed and some project activities have been delayed. The European Commission has, however, granted a 12-month extension to complete the project.