ActiveCHILD Study


The ActiveCHILD is a 5-year study to find new ways to help young children (0-5yrs) move more. Our study involves children with different abilities, including children with and without long-term conditions and developmental concerns.

A healthy childhood with lots of movement and activity is one of the best known ways to help children be healthy and happy – both now and in the future. Being active is how children engage with the world and enjoy life. Being active also improves children’s bones, muscles, heart, blood vessels, mental health, physical skills, thinking, and learning.

Many children do not get as much time and opportunities to be active as they would like, or what would be beneficial for them. We seek to help children and their parents, and professionals, to change this.

In ActiveCHILD, we seek to:

  • Learn new things about young children’s movement and activity, its costs and benefits, and pathways to increasing it.
  • Develop innovative ways to enable early movement and activity.
  • Use the new knowledge to inform guidelines and policy, to develop training packages for professionals, and support parents.

The main outcomes are: (1) children’s movement and physical activity, measured using movement sensors called ’accelerometers’, and (2) children’s health and well-being, measured using a parent questionnaire called the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory.

ActiveCHILD consists of three studies:

Study 1: Understanding pathways to early movement and physical activity.

A longitudinal study where we follow children up for 3 years. We seek to find out how active they are, how their activity changes over time, and what factors influence their activity.

Study 2: Estimating the costs and benefits of early movement and activity.

A health economics study to estimate the costs and benefits of early life physical activity. We will look at benefits over the whole life course.

Study 3: Designing movement and activity interventions.

A study to designs specific intervention techniques that can be repeated in practice, and to pilot these techniques. Promising techniques will be advanced to further large-scale evaluation(s) through spin-off grant applications.

ActiveCHILD is funded by the National Institute of Health Research, and sponsored by Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Hospitals Trust. It is conducted in partnership with a number of NHS trusts in England.

The study team members are:

N Kolehmainen


Dr Niina Kolehmainen

The ActiveCHILD chief investigator, Senior Clinical Lecturer, and Honorary Consultant AHP



O Craw

Dr Olivia Craw

ActiveCHILD Research Associate, and a psycobiologist




Dr Laura Cutler

ActiveCHILD Research Associate, and a child health behaviour researcher


H Brown

Dr Heather Brown

Lecturer in Health Economics, and an expert in economic modelling of longitudinal data


T Rapley

Professor Tim Rapley

Senior Lecturer, a sociologist, and a qualitative methodology expert



Image result for tomos robinson newcastle

Dr Tomos Robinson
Health economics research associate on the study



Professor Mark Pearce

Professor of Applied Epidemiology, and an expert in longitudinal studies of health behaviours

luke vale

Professor Luke Vale

Health Foundation Chair in Health Economics, and a senior expert in economic modelling of interventions


To contact the study team:
ActiveCHILD Study
Newcastle University Population Health Sciences Institute
Baddiley-Clark Building, Richardson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 4AX, UK
Telephone: 0191 2084594