LJMU and SHOKK tactics to keep Liverpool healthy
12 January 2011
The LJMU Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences (RISES), in partnership with SHOKK Ltd and Liverpool Active City has been chosen for a European Cluster “AFRESH” (activity and food for regional economies supporting health) programme, which uses a dual approach to bring together diet and physical activity. As the only UK university in the project, LJMU is leading the way collaboratively across Europe to promote scientifically based innovations in the health economy. This work also forms part of Liverpool’s Decade of Health and Wellbeing.
New initiatives from this partnership will continue the work of LJMU’s RISES with Liverpool Active City in tackling lifestyle related diseases that are costly to the NHS. These include obesity and health of the ageing population, while SHOKK will engage with the younger members of the community.
The SHOKK concept is designed to create a healthier and more balanced lifestyle for young people and has been developed through ten years of extensive paediatric exercise science research, providing a range of interactive products, which encourages young people to get active in a fun and entertaining way. Against the current agenda and reduction in funding, SHOKK provide a unique pathway which aims to do much more than just deliver an alternative form of physical activity providing a cost effective solution that can impact on young people across the activity spectrum. On a local level the aim is to always develop a joined up solution working with PCTs and other key local agencies.
Gareth Stratton, LJMU Professor of Paediatric Exercise Science in the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, and Chair of REACH Group (Research into Exercise Activity and Child Health) explained:
"This sharing of scientific knowledge from partnerships across Europe to improve services and products across the 16 cluster consortium will aim to capture resource to promote physical activity and healthy eating across Liverpool at a time when traditional forms of funding have all but dried up.
"LJMU is therefore increasing its commitment in taking research from the ‘lab to the community’ to boost the local economy by looking for alternative resources including expertise and funding from across Europe at this time of local health cuts."
For nearly two decades, RISES has worked to promote better health, physical activity and wellbeing for local people, through its schools, workplaces, communities and neighbourhoods and has been extremely effective at reducing physical activity inequalities initiating change and adding value to grants to benefit the local community. By becoming a partner in this industrial, public authority and academic cluster, LJMU has already secured European funding from FP7 funds and will continue to develop ways of increasing capacity for the promotion of research driven products and services. Professor Gareth Stratton also chairs the children and young people’s section of the Chief Medical Officer’s editorial group for physical activity guidelines for the UK.
Diane Singleton, Lead Nurse for Older People at Liveability Service, part of the Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust, which was previously assisted by research from RISES commented:
“We found that the research carried out by the team at LJMU was an important contribution to our recent Nursing Times Award, as we were able to provide hard evidence to back up the case for this prestigious national accolade. Liveability works to find the most innovative ways of promoting health and independence amongst older people, but often there isn’t time for the level of research that the University could offer to help us attract more recognition for this work and therefore funding allowing us to continue providing health programmes across the city.”
LJMU’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences has also partnered with SHOKK Ltd for its first post-doctorate Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) which works to identify and evaluate scientific evidence to support the implementation of SHOKK products and services and make changes and improvements where appropriate. This utilises the competencies and experience of Dr. Lee Graves from the School, whose recent PhD investigated the effect of active video games on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and health in young people. One area of this PhD will include SHOKK Tactics, a revolutionary award winning and only youth specific member management, health assessment and retention system in the industry. It is designed specifically for monitoring young people in a facility, partnership or project and is currently being used directly on PCTs and educationally based projects.