Physical activity for health National & international impact of our research

Our research has made the headlines. The media were particular interested in the important consequences that physical activity has on brain development and educational attainment. We showed for the first time that physical activity declines as early as early to middle childhood. It had been assumed that this decline happens later in adolescence. This finding has helped focus the international public health agenda on early childhood obesity.

Our research has informed physical activity and childhood obesity guidelines and strategies in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA. This has led to our academic staff taking leadership roles in guideline development. 

Professor Reilly led the translation of the 24-hour movement behaviours for the UK context. This resulted in the launch of the 2019 UK Physical Activity Guidelines for the Under 5s.

Professor Reilly was also the sole UK member of the development group for the World Health Organization’s Guidelines on physical activity, sedentary behaviour and sleep for the under 5s. He also sat on the development group for the seminal WHO Ending Childhood Obesity Report 2016.