Everybody knows that living an active lifestyle is healthy. Unfortunately, there are many people in the Netherlands who are inactive. This has serious consequences for the physical and psychological well-being. Around 80% of children and adolescents do not adhere to the recommendations to be active for more than 60 minutes a day. However, the majority of Dutch youth experiences great fun while being active. Therefore, my goal is to increase physical activity in children and adolescents.
In my research, I focus on social influences that shape the physical activity patterns of youth. I try to find out what factors predict an inactive lifestyle and how we can promote a healthy and active lifestyle for children and adolescents.
In the MyMovez project, we use the wearable lab: a smartphone with a custom project app, and a wearable accelerometer. By using the wearable lab, we can see and understand social networks -, map physical activity patterns - and discover what factors influence physical activity of children and adolescents. Subsequently, we can target influential children or adolescents in their social network as ambassadors, and let them use these social influences to encourage others to be more physically active.
Thabo van Woudenberg (MSc.) is a PhD-student within the MyMovez research project. After obtaining the bachelor’s in Communication Science in Nijmegen, he finished the research Behavioural Science in Nijmegen successfully. Since February 2015, Thabo is working as a PhD-student on the project, focusing on physical activity in children and adolescents.