Stephen’s research is all about children’s physical activity. At the moment, Ireland is on track to become the most obese nation in Europe by the year 2030. There are lots of reasons why Ireland has come to this and you can see it all around you in everyday life. How many of us can say we don’t spend half our day staring at some form of screen or another? When we dig a little deeper, we can see that Irish children are spending less and less time being physically active. Stephen’s research is trying to stop this.
The project, called Moving Well Being Well, aims to break the mould and intervene early in a child’s life to increase their physical activity levels. How can we do this? We want to focus on improving children’s confidence and motivation towards physical activity through developing their fundamental movement skills.
Fundamental Movement Skills are basic skills, like running, jumping, catching, throwing, etc., and these are the foundation on which all other movement or sports specific skills are built. If a child does not develop these skills early, they will not have the confidence in their physical ability to try anything new. Fast forward a decade and we have now have a generation uninterested in physical activity.
Through Moving Well-Being Well, we hope to instil Irish children with a confidence and enthusiasm for physical activity for years to come, and in doing so, turn the tide on obesity in Ireland.