On January 11, 2018, Prof Doutora Marlene Silva, University of Lisbon gave an invited talk at a conference at Autonoma University (Lisbon, Portugal) in relation to good practices for health behavior change interventions from research to practice. EuroFIT was used as an optimal example, illustrating the main focus of the talk.
The University of Lisbon’s Dr Marlene N. Silva discusses EuroFIT on the Portuguese radio programme ‘90 Seconds of Science’ on 4 January 2018.
Have a listen to the segment here https://www.rtp.pt/play/p2936/e322278/90-segundos-ciencia
“It was great training, we learned a lot of new and exciting things but most of all a new way of interacting with participants and facilitating change!” said one of the participants. Some former FMH-University of Lisboa students (now working in the sports arena) also received the training, anticipating future delivery of it. The training occurred at the home of the Portuguese National Team, and was led by Marlene Silva and Hugo Pereira, EuroFIT researchers at FMH-U Lisbon, with the assistance of former EuroFIT coaches from SL Benfica and FC Porto. Examples and assistance from these former coaches were great and much appreciated. Everyone was unanimous in considering that their inputs brought not only applied examples, but also reassurance and inspiration. Team spirit and camaraderie were dominant throughout the training!
Reaching out to non-scientific audiences with the project mission, objectives and findings is important too. EuroFIT partners have communicated with a variety of audiences and spread the word in non-scientific journals, such as:
• The journal of the Portuguese Society of Cardiology devoted to health professionals, “Factores de Risco”, “invited Marlene Silva to write a piece on “The football club as a promoter of health in the population: the example of the EuroFIT program”.
• Pedro Teixeira, Hugo Pereira and Marlene Silva were invited by the Journal of the Portuguese Football Federation to write an article on the importance of football to promote health; the EuroFIT program was as an illustrative example.
• Marlene Silva and Pedro Teixeira were invited to write a piece reflecting the potential role of football clubs to promote community health. Healthy Stadia provided some data for the piece and the EuroFIT program was used as an example
• “Saber Viver”, a lifestyle journal, made a piece on EuroFIT. Healthy Stadia’s work was also featured and described.
• Bunn, C. (2017) Fitness for fans: professional football and public health. Football Medic and Scientist, Issue 20: Spring 2017.
EuroFIT consortium has published a paper: The intervention process in the European Fans in Training (EuroFIT) trial: a mixed method protocol for evaluation by authors Van de Glind, I., Bunn, C. J., Gray, C. M., Hunt, K., Andersen, E., Jelsma, J., Morgan, H., Pereira, H., Roberts, G., Rooksby, J., Røynesdal, Ø., Silva, M. N., Sørensen, M., Treweek, S., Van Achterberg, T., Van der Ploeg, H., Van Nassau, F., Nijhuis-van der Sanden, R., Wyke, S. The paper provides an evaluation of the implementation of the program and appeared in Trials, a BioMed Central open access journal (18:356, 27 July 2017).
‘This paper describes the design of a mixed methods process evaluation embedded within a multicentre pragmatic trial, for which 1000 overweight men, aged 30–65 years, will be recruited in 15 top professional football clubs across the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the UK. EuroFIT is an evidence-based and theory-based, gender-sensitised, health and lifestyle program that aims to attract men who wish to make changes to their physical activity, sedentary behaviour and diet, through an interest in football and their personal connections and loyalties to the football club they attend. The process evaluation is designed to investigate how the implementation is achieved in the various football clubs and countries and the processes through which the EuroFIT program affects outcomes. By publishing the protocol for this process evaluation, we make the methodological choices that we have made explicit.’
Read the paper in its entirety here.
EuroFIT PIs will present at SPARC 2017, a conference which will be held at Edinburgh University, UK on Thursday, 23 November. Scottish Physical Activity Research Connections or SPARC is a network of physical activity researchers, policy-makers and practitioners in Scotland. SPARC is organised by the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC) at the University of Edinburgh and the Active Scotland Division at the Scottish Government. Two EuroFIT PIs will deliver keynote addresses. Professor Theo van Achterberg (KU Leuven, Belgium) will present Theory and practice in the implementation of health promoting interventions and Professor Kate Hunt (MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow) will present Implementation in practice from Football Fans in Training (FFIT) Project. The entire SPARC 2017 programme can be found here.
Prof Glyn C. Roberts of the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences on behalf of the EuroFIT Consortium has been invited to give the keynote address: Motivation strategies for sustained behaviour change in active lifestyle interventions: The EuroFIT project at SAICON 2017. SAICON is the International Conference on Sports Medicine and Sports Science organized by the Sports Authority of India.The theme of the 2017 conference is “Scoring Goals in Sports with Science & Technology”. The conference will be held in Delhi, India on December 5-9th. For more information on the SAICON conference, click here.
The Dutch coach-the-coaches training was facilitated by Judith Jelsma and Harm Oppers (former EuroFIT coach PSV) on 30-31 October 2017 at SC Heerenveen. In SC Heerenveen EuroFIT will be led by a former first-team player and a student from CIOS, a national sports training institute.
It was a fruitful two-day training session in which a lot of practical information and examples on delivering EuroFIT were shared. Attendants felt it was really valuable to receive information on how to deal with this specific population and to receive more information and practical ideas on how to deliver the sessions.
‘It was a great day and I am confident the coaches of SC Heerenveen will deliver a great implementation delivery. During the mock deliveries, the coaches really did a good job, with giving some nice club related examples and framing the mock delivery in a football context,’ commented Judith Jelsma of the Amsterdam Public Health research institute, VU University Medical Center.
SC Heerenveen will start on 9 November with the first EuroFIT introduction session. SC Heerenveen received expressions of interest from 40 men within 1.5 days! They invited 20 men to participate and might organize a second round in March (if funding is available).
The EuroFIT consortium published “Feasibility of a real-time self-monitoring device for sitting less and moving more: a randomised controlled trial” in the BMJ Open Sport & Exercise Medicine journal on the 29 August 2017.
The study authors were Anne Martin, Jacob M Adams, Christopher Bunn, Jason M R Gill, Cindy M Gray, Kate Hunt, Douglas J Maxwell, Hidde P van der Ploeg, Sally Wyke, and Nanette Mutrie.
Trial objectives: Time spent inactive and sedentary are both associated with poor health. Self-monitoring of walking, using pedometers for real-time feedback, is effective at increasing physical activity. This study evaluated the feasibility of a new pocket-worn sedentary time and physical activity real-time self-monitoring device (SitFIT).
Methods: Forty sedentary men were equally randomised into two intervention groups. For 4 weeks, one group received a SitFIT providing feedback on steps and time spent sedentary (lying/sitting); the other group received a SitFIT providing feedback on steps and time spent upright (standing/stepping). Change in sedentary time, standing time, stepping time and step count were assessed using activPAL monitors at designated time intervals. Semistructured interviews were conducted after 4 and 12 weeks.
Results: The SitFIT was reported as acceptable and usable and seen as a motivating tool to reduce sedentary time by both groups. On average, the two groups of participants reduced their sedentary time by 7.8 minutes/day and by 8.2 minutes/day. They increased their standing time by 23.2 minutes/day and 16.2 minutes/day. Stepping time was increased by 8.5 minutes/day and 9.0 minutes/day.
Conclusion: The novel real-time self-monitoring device, the SitFIT, was perceived as a useful and practical tool for changing sedentary time, upright time and step count. The SitFIT, in combination with other behaviour change techniques, encouraged small improvements in the number of steps and time spent sedentary and standing in a short intervention. Our fully powered trial will further investigate this. The SitFIT seems a promising tool for integration in more intensive intervention programmes.
Prof Nanette Mutrie, Chair in Physical Activity for Health, Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences (SPEHS) at the University of Edinburgh commented, ‘The results from this pilot trial gave us confidence in the use of the SitFIT and guided us to the best displays for this device for the main trial.’
Read the entire open access paper here.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 602170. The material presented and views expressed here are the responsibility of the author(s) only. The EU Commission takes no responsibility for any use made of the information set out.