The level of physical activity is constantly declining among children and adolescents. School children today do not reach the recommended level of activity needed to maintain good physical and mental health, in the present or for the future. The FUN project aims to develop digital aids and applications that will encourage pupils with neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) to increase their level of physical activity.
A group that is particularly challenged when it comes to physical activity is students with neuropsychiatric disabilities, such as autism and ADHD. For this group, physical activity is particularly important, as they face a higher risk of health issues later in life.
Revolutionizing working methods
Today, physical activity in schools is limited to classes in Physical Education, and breaks. An individual needs more physical activity than that, and this need is present all day. The research project FUN aims at revolutionizing the ways that schools work with physical activity.
– The idea is that students are offered more options to be physically active, connected to the pedagogical aims of the different subjects. To be successful, schools and teachers need tools that support that change, says project manager Ninitha Maivorsdotter.
Digital platform increases engagement and joy of moving
The digital platform created in FUN will offer those tools. The platform is designed for mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, and is based on a pedagogical model used in game design. The purpose is to increase the engagement and joy of moving for students with neuropsychiatric disabilities.
Part of DHEAR
FUN is a part of the research environment DHEAR (Digital HEAlth Research) and was granted SEK 500 000 in research funding from Vinnova for "challenge-driven innovation". The project is a joint effort between the University of Skövde, Örebro University, Skaraborg Association of Local Authorities, and Region Västra Götaland and will run for 9 months in the initial phase.
– We are very pleased to receive this grant. FUN is aimed at a group of young people with special needs. The right to physical activity applies to everyone, says Ninitha Maivorsdotter.