19 Mar EuroFIT Programme: New Survey on Health Promotion at European Football Clubs
Initial work has kicked off at a pace on the 5 year EU funded research programme – EuroFIT – to improve the health of male football fans across Europe. EuroFIT will work with top football clubs from across the continent to encourage fans to take up healthier lifestyles, using the personal connections and loyalty supporters show their clubs to influence men in making significant changes to their lifestyle. Groups of football fans will be encouraged to take part in a tailored fitness and lifestyle programme with their own football club, receiving tips about how to boost their daily levels of physical activity, sit down less and improve their diets.
Since the start of the project in November 2013, Healthy Stadia has been primarily involved in Work Package 3 which is concerned with the design of a behaviour change intervention programme that will be used as part of a randomised control trial with participating clubs over 2015 and 2016. This part of the project will identify examples of current good practice, develop the core components of the EuroFIT programme and participant support materials, and a protocol and training package to ensure standardised delivery of EuroFIT across clubs in Norway, The Netherlands, Portugal and the UK.
Healthy Stadia has worked with University of Glasgow on the design of a new survey that aims to capture current health promoting policies and practices at football clubs, and the survey has been sent to all top division clubs of Europe’s 54 football nations. The survey will be followed up with telephone interviews in April and in-depth face to face interviews with clubs in May, and in addition to providing an up to date benchmark of current health promoting policies and practices, will attempt to understand the operational and financial drivers, barriers and mechanisms to implementing successful health interventions run by football clubs.
Concerning the wider EuroFIT programme, additional developments have also seen the first design iterations for a game-based smart-phone application – ‘MatchFIT’ – that uses the competitive environment of football fixtures to promote achievement of personal physical activity goals, and the instigation of functioning prototypes of a new ‘SitFIT’ device that can be worn by participants to measure levels of sedentary time and physical activity, whilst providing real time feedback to prompt changes in behaviour.
For more information on the project, please see: www.eurofitfp7.eu