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Improving the lives of people across Wales through physical activity and sport

26 February 2024

Children playing sport together
Children playing sport together

As part of Welsh Institute of Physical Activity, Health and Sport (WIPAHS), researchers at Cardiff University have been using their expertise to examine a wide range of issues and their findings are now set to shape how leaders can help people in Wales to live healthier lives.

Its fourth annual report was released to coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week, which took place between 5-11 February 2024.

WIPAHS is a pan-Wales network which sees all eight Welsh universities working with Sport Wales, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales. It brings together academia, those facilitating physical activity and sport, policy makers and the public to help create a healthier society.

Dr Liba Sheeran, Higher Education Institution Representative, said:

As part of the Welsh Institute of Physical Activity, Health and Sport, our researchers at Cardiff University are dedicated to driving positive change in Wales. Through our collaboration with universities, Sport Wales, Welsh Government, and Public Health Wales, we're shaping strategies to enhance the health and wellbeing of communities. Our ongoing projects, from supporting active parenting to tackling social isolation among seniors, highlight our holistic approach to fostering a healthier, more active society.
Dr Liba Sheeran Reader: Physiotherapy

Among other projects, WIPAHS is currently working to assess the physical activity levels and behaviours of children and adolescents across Wales and their relationship with mental health and wellbeing. Information collected via a series of online surveys, and device-based physical activity tracking, will allow researchers to identify the impact of factors such as the pandemic, changes to the school curriculum, and funding decisions on young people across Wales.

Over the past year, WIPAHS has also been involved in projects such as:

  • Babi Actif, an initiative to support parents to be active with their babies in the first 1,000 days of their lives
  • Bridgend Active Young People Department (AYPD)
  • Sport Wales 60+ Active Living Scheme which aims at reducing health inequalities and social isolation amongst the over-60s population

Other projects in the pipeline include evaluating the IfYouGoIGo initiative run by Torfaen County Borough Council and continuing to promote the Welsh Women’s Health Research Network to address key research questions and initiatives around women’s health and physical activity.

Dr Kelly Morgan, Strategic Theme Lead, said:

Producing evidence to inform population-level health programmes and initiatives across Wales is key. Our joined-up efforts across WIPAHS themes enables us to best harness and mobilise our knowledge, expertise and efforts to support populations across Wales to live healthier.
Dr Kelly Morgan Senior Research Fellow, DECIPHer

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