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The Walking In ScHools (WISH) Trial: A peer-led, school based walking intervention for adolescent girls (Host Organisation – UU)

The transition from primary to second-level education represents a time when physical inactivity increases, especially in adolescent girls. School-based activities that increase opportunities for physical activity are needed, particularly for those left out of other sporting activities because of the competitive selection process for school teams, and for types of activity that can be easily maintained into adulthood, such as walking. 

This research will assess the effectiveness of a low-cost school-based, peer-led walking intervention in increasing physical activity in adolescent girls when delivered across the school year in a fully-powered trial in schools across Northern Ireland (NI) and the border region of the Republic of Ireland (ROI).

Intervention participants will be encouraged to take part in short peer-led walks delivered across the school day in or around the school grounds, led by older pupils (aged 16-18 years) trained as walk leaders. Using physical activity monitors (accelerometers) we will objectively assess the effectiveness of the intervention at increasing total activity and reducing sedentary behaviours among pupils at the mid-point and end of the school year. 

If the intervention increases physical activity, it would benefit adolescent girls in the defined target area and have potential for adoption by schools across the entire island of Ireland resulting in sustainable, long-term, positive impacts on child population health.


Lead Contact:
Professor Marie H Murphy, Ulster University

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