For a majority of children, online interactions and screen time has replaced physical activity and movement-based ‘play’. Our children are the most physically inactive generation in history! We know from vast amounts of studies and our own extensive research that a majority of children have significant issues with basic coordination tasks that involve crossing the left and right side of the brain. Children also lack movement skills that were once considered ‘child’s play’. 1 in 4 children can no longer run properly, half cannot kick a ball properly and even less can jump properly We know that children are self-conscious about their movement skills and capabilities with many already forming an aversion to physical activity that can last a lifetime.

Why does this matter?

Poor movement skills in childhood directly impacts future health, predicting physical inactivity, obesity and cardiovascular disease in later life. A lack of movement-based play experiences in childhood also stifles development of crucial cognitive functions such as memory, attention and visual processing which are so important for academic achievement, particularly in reading and maths.

For the current generation, ‘play’ typically involves swiping, scrolling or finger-tapping through social media platforms or relatively addictive video games and streaming sites. In this way technology presents as a significant part of the problem, but could equally be a significant part of the solution.

Rather than swiping or tapping their way through online interactions, The MoveAhead Project enables children to interact with technology using their whole body, fundamentally changing how movement and cognition can be developed and understood in childhood.

MoveAhead aims to power development of fun and educational movement-based digital play experiences that track and support key movement and co-ordination skills in childhood. This is achieved via the unique MoveAhead API that has the potential to transform how movement and cognition can be learned and understood in childhood.

The project is fundamentally underpinned by a decade of research on children’s movement skill acquisition, intervention design and movement data analytics.

Click on the following links to explore some of our recently published, high impact studies

Movement competence & perceptions of movement competence in childhood; paper 1, paper 2

Design and effectiveness of movement-based games and technologies to improve movement competence in childhood; paper 3, paper 4

Multi-sensory movement learning & analysis of human movement interactions; paper 5, paper 6