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Why moderate to vigorous intensity exercise is important for children and how to measure it.

“Although an activity of any intensity provides health benefits, greater intensity provides more benefits for the same amount of time. Activities need to be of at least moderate to vigorous intensity to achieve the full breadth of health benefits.” – UK Chief Medical Officers’ Physical Activity Guidelines
What is moderate to vigorous intensity exercise?

Physical activity intensity relates to how hard a person has to work to complete the task or activity. Due to different factors including fitness levels, age and health conditions, some people will be able to complete tasks and activities more easily than others. 

What one person might do to reach moderate to vigorous intensity might differ to another, for example during a fitness workout things like the amount of reps completed, amount of weight used or the type of activity may need to be adapted to challenge someones fitness needs. 

Moderate to vigorous intensity activities can include:

  • Functional fitness

  • Weight lifting exercises

  • Invasion games

  • Swimming

 These types of activities are ones which will challenge someones fitness levels and have the most health related benefits such as increase in cardiovascular fitness. – WHO World Health Organisation.

How to measure Moderate to Vigorous Intensity exercise

 There are many different ways you can measure intensity levels to see whether you or someone you are working with is reaching moderate to vigorous intensity levels.

 1. Rate of Perceived Exertion

In the Go Well Fit for Life programme we use a Rate of Perceived Exertion chart to show the different rates of exercise – these are based on how you feel or look after exercise. 

 This is a quick and easy method which requires no equipment and helps children to understand how it looks and feels to be in the moderate to high intensity zone.  We ask children to aim for 6-8 on the scale.  Click here if you would like a free copy of the Fit for Life Rate of Perceived Exertion Poster.

2. NHS Definitions

The NHS provide the following definitions of intensity:

“Moderate intensity activities will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster and feel warmer. One way to tell if you are working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk but not sing.” – NHS

 “Vigorous intensity activity makes you breathe hard and fast. If you are working at this level, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for breath. In general, 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity can give similar health benefits to 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity. Most moderate activities can become vigorous if you increase your effort.” – NHS

 So a simple ‘talk test’ at the end or during a session can give you a good indication of the what intensity levels children are reaching.

3. Heart Rate

 Heart Rate can be used to measure intensity levels.  The general calculation of maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age.  Therefore, if you are 20 years old your maximum heart rate would be 200BPM.  During exercise, to be working at vigorous intensity, you would need to raise your heart rate to 160BPM (80%).

There is, however, evidence to suggest that children tend to have lower maximum heart rates than the calculation shows.  Therefore, working from this calculation can lead to children exercising too hard which can cause dizziness and breathlessness.  That is not to say heart rate cannot be used to measure childrens’ exercise intensity, rather that caution should be taken and an accurate measure of each individual child’s maximum heart rate would be required to ensure safety.

 How this can help schools?

The Chief Medical Officers Guidelines recommend that children should have 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise per day.  Through the Active 30 agenda schools are responsible for providing at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity throughout the school-day. Break times, lunch times, PE lessons, active breaks in and outside the classroom and after school clubs are opportune times to implement some of the activities highlighted to support children to reach moderate to vigorous intensity.

So, if children want to have maximum health benefits then hitting moderate to vigorous intensity levels during physical activity is vital for this to happen.  Alongside this, measuring intensity levels is just as important so that children can have an understanding of how they look and feel when reaching the required intensity levels.

We hope you found this blog helpful.  For any further information please contact – matthewellison@go-well.org

 

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7 Top Tips on Rebranding your Organisation

We recently embarked on a full rebrand of our company – change of name, logo, mission and vision.  It was no mean feat!  

 

We navigated the process independently and we believe, successfully.  Here are a few things that we learned from the process that may be helpful for anyone considering rebranding:

No. 1 – Be sure!

Have a strong rationale and ensure the change links to the strategic aims of your company.  Changing your company identity is a transformational change that will affect everyone linked to your organisation – staff, customers, partners.  Consider the benefits of the change against the risks. You could use tools like a forcefield analysis to help – https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTED_06.htm.

 

Only go ahead when you are sure it is the right decision and the right time.

No. 2 – Have clear decision-making

Be clear from the beginning where decisions will be made.  Will it be the leader of the organisation?  Directors?  Management team?  Collective decision?  As we felt this was potentially a subjective decision, we were clear that the management team would make the final decision.  This was communicated clearly to the rest of the team from the outset.  Our team members knew that their input, their thoughts and their participation in the process were important and meaningful but they would not be responsible for the final decision.

No. 3 – Consult, research and learn.

Talk to people!  Involve as many people as possible actively in the process. Consult at the start, in the middle and just before the end. Hold workshops, launch surveys, have discussions.  Gather lots of data that you can use to inform decision-making by identifying themes.  Through our consultation we gained greater clarity on our USP and purpose.  Through researching other brands and processes we created parameters that we wanted our name to fit. 

This learning and identifying of themes in data were key in informing the final decision that we made – it made a subjective decision quite objective.

It is also worth noting here, that the final company name came from a member of team!

No. 4 – Don’t ask people what they like

It feels like the natural question to ask – do you like this?  What do you think about this?

In many ways it isn’t about what people like.  We all like different things, different shapes, different colours.  Your company brand isn’t looking to win a popularity contest, it is looking to reflect your organisation and what you do.  Your brand needs to connect people to your organisation, to it’s why, it’s purpose and it’s values.

 

Ask people questions like, what does this brand say about us?  See if the responses correlate to your values and purpose from your research/consultation.

No. 5 – Stay in the fog!

There will be times when you feel lost, when you feel it isn’t coming together, you aren’t going to make it, it isn’t going as well as planned, you can’t see the end.  That can be referred to as the fog of uncertainty.  Breathe it in, stay there, it is where the magic eventually happens.

 

In fact, we delayed our timelines at one point to stay in the fog a little longer!

No. 6 – Communicate – a lot!

As mentioned before, rebranding is a transformational change that affects everyone connected to your company.  Keeping people informed of the steps taken, completed, the next steps, the reasons behind certain decisions or elements will keep them on board, interested and even excited – depending on how you present it.  Be passionate when you communicate – it can be infectious.

 

The two videos posted below give an example of how we communicated our rebrand to our external stakeholders.

No. 7 – Have fun!

Any process is much better when you have fun with it, right? Rebranding is a creative process and it gives you a lot of opportunities to have some fun and spark some creative thinking.  You can do this with your team through the activities you plan for workshops you may hold.  You can do this with external partners/customers too. Here are a few fun activities we used:

 

Force fitting – present a random object/picture, write 10 words linked to that object/picture, create brand names linked to those words.

 

Object retrieval – find 3 objects around your house that link to your company’s why. Present them and explain them.

 

What would xxxx name our company? – Insert different well-known people into the question.

 

The purpose of some of these activities is to disrupt your thinking and bring about new perspectives, ideas or possibilities.  You will find more information about these activities and many more practical tools and techniques for creativity and innovation in the Idea Time book by Dr Jo North – https://bigbangpartnership.co.uk/idea-time-book-one/

We hope you find these 7 top tips helpful.   The launch video below illustrates the full journey taken.  If you are planning to undergo a rebrand process, good luck and enjoy the journey!

For more information on this blog contact: sarahprice@go-well.org