In London nearly 40% of children are categorised as overweight or obese, with the highest rates occurring in areas of greatest deprivation. This is in part due to the low levels of physical activity amongst young people in inner London which not only has an immediate detrimental affect on their health, but is also likely to shape attitudes and activity trends throughout a person’s life.
England's Chief Medical Officer recommends that children spend an average of one hour per day doing a blend of moderate and vigorous physical activity. Less than 18% of children in inner London boroughs are currently achieving this and above half are not even achieving an average of 30 minutes per day.
Assessing health amongst young people, and particularly assigning changes to a particular activity or product, is notoriously difficult. However, we applied three measures (2 quantitative, 1 qualitative) to Pop Up Club participants in order to asses whether the programme was having any effect on their physical health.
73% of our Pop Up Club participants increased the amount of physical activity they were doing per week and 36% are now meeting the target of 7 hours per week set out by the Chief Medical Officer. In addition, 100% of our participants said they felt healthy/very healthy with 65% noting improvements in how healthy they felt during the course of the programme.
A Multi-Stage Fitness Test was also carried out with a large sample (134 participants) in the early and latter stages of the scheme, with 74% demonstrating an improvement in their score.