A few bite size bits to chew over :)

A few short, sweet and thought-provoking pieces of research that we’ve uncovered during the past week.  Enjoy at your leisure, or click on the links provided to find out more information!

VOLUNTEERING  Encouraging Involvement in Big Society – Cultural and Sporting Perspectives

The ‘Big Society’ was the flagship policy idea of the 2012 UK Conservative Party’s election manifesto which aims to “create a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a big society that will take the ‘power away from politicians’ and give it to the people”. One of its’ key priorities is to “Encourage people to take an active role in their communities (volunteerism).”

A survey conducted in 2011, provided a detailed demographic profile of those contributing to the Big Society from the sport and culture sectors:

  • 87% of population is engaged in some way in culture and sport.
  • 7.3% of population volunteers.
  • 10% of 16-24 year olds volunteer.  7.3% is the average across all ages.
  • 7% of 45-64 year olds volunteers.
  • 67.2% of volunteers are employed and are more likely to be ‘wealthy achievers’ than non volunteers.
  • Almost two-thirds of volunteers, volunteer in the sport industry.

How do these figures relate to YOUR club or sport?  For more information, visit TNS UK Limited to read the entire report.

DIGITAL KIDS Teen-only gym: Virtual reality, real sweat

Mountain View, California opened its first teen-only gym called ‘Overtime’ in 2006.  It was age restricted to 13-18 year olds and was designed to appeal to the children of parents who lived and worked in the hometown of ‘Google’.

The gym uses technology and video games – combined with traditional gym machines –  to encourage kids to workout and is designed to bridge the gap between traditional arcade and health-club operators and present exergaming as a legitimate tool for encouraging physical activities in children!

Something to consider as an additional tool in your training programs?

BEHAVIOUR CHANGE TOOLS When will we see gamification in government?

Gamification is the practice of using achievement-based rewards for non-game activities. For example completing a project or mission at work sees the awarding of a ‘completion badge (letter, award, and medal) and it is now being recommended as an effective behavior modification tool. 

Rapid gratification for small and ongoing achievements means behavior patterns are reinforced at a deeper level and result in increased likelihood of the behavior being repeated or becoming ongoing.

Is there potential for gamification to be used in government, with staff rewarded for increasing skill levels, completing ministerial responses in a timely fashion, or writing briefs?

For more information, please visit: Craig Thromler, eGov AU, www.egovau.blogspot.com.au January 27, 2012

MENTAL HEALTH The Reciprocal Relationship Between Physical Activity and Depression in Older Adults.

The link between physical activity levels and depression was studied over a 2-year period with a total of 17,593 men and women involved in the study ranging in age between 50 and 102 years. Testing showed there were some differences for age, but not for gender.

Measures included affective suffering and motivational depression, and used self-reported frequency of moderate and vigorous physical activity with results indicating that higher levels of physical activity were associated with lower levels of depression both at baseline, and two years later.

Although physical activity could reduce depressive symptoms in older adulthood, it can also act as a barrier to engaging in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity behaviours and so deserves to be studied further within this area.

Reference: Lindwall, M., Larsman, P., & Hagger, M.S (2011) Health Psychology Magazine 30 – 453-462

Any comments, questions or recommendations are all greatly appreciated!  As is your recommendation of DSRPinkiesWorld to your friends, family and colleagues.

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