Developing a framework for a games-based injury prevention exercise programme for post-primary (12–18 years) physical education class: A Delphi poll study
Frank Devereux, Enda F Whyte, Nathan Gavigan, Siobhan O'Connor
European Physical Education Review
School of Health and Human Performance

How can we engage children in secondary school in injury prevention programmes? A games-based approach in which students have fun as well as exercising or engaging in warm-ups could be the way forward.

This is the conclusion reached in a new study led by Frank Devereux, and collaborators Dr Enda Whyte, Dr Nathan Gavigan and Dr Siobhan O’Connor.

Enjoyment can determine how actively children and adolescents participate in sport and physical activity and in this case engage with injury prevention. Current injury prevention programmes are frequently perceived as boring, and subsequently are not being carried out effectively.  Additionally games can be designed to suit the individual, which is crucial when attempting to implement it within the general population.

“Nonsporting children are not taking part in existing programmes, and we decided to adopt a games based approach for all adolescents, including the sedentary.” said Devereux. The study called on 18 experts to assess the merits of this approach.

The experts said that a games-based approach - to be successful - must include an element of strength, speed, agility, balance and jumping technique. The routine should be physically and mentally challenging, competitive, and most importantly enjoyable.

Researchers from the School of Human Health & Performance have consistently produce high quality programmes to improve the health of children and young people. The Moving Well Being Well team received a President’s award for research earlier this year for their ongoing work in this area. Dr Hannah Goss, Dr Sarahjane Belton and Dr Stephen Behan have also contributed to the All-Island Children’s Sport Participation and Physical Activity study. Dr Goss is also conducting a needs assessment programme in collaboration with Dublin City Council, Mayo County Council and Waterford City and County Councils.