Translating whole system approaches into practice to increase population physical activity
Keywords:Whole Systems, Physical Activity, Knowledge Translation
Purpose: There has been a recent resurgence in applying system thinking to complex public health problems, yet few have discussed their application in real-world settings, with little consideration given to the interaction of research, practice and policy.
Overall symposium description: Hear transparent and reflective experiences from three diverse whole systems projects, that will collectively inform a discussion on how to translate evidence into practice with a proactive discussion for future research, policy and practice.
Chair: Lindsey Reece. Introduce symposia by providing a global update on evidence and international policy drivers for the development and implementations of whole systems approaches to increase population physical activity.
Presenter 1: Tracy Nau, Professor Bill Bellew. Title: ASAPa – the Australian systems approach to physical activity. The Australian Systems Approaches to Physical Activity (ASAPa) project is a national initiative to addressing population physical activity (PA) with the aim to advance whole systems approaches from theoretical to practical applications. National meetings were convened with policy makers across sectors and jurisdictions. A conceptual systems map was developed incorporating governance, translation and advocacy. The review of policies, programs and prevalence identified potential gaps and opportunities that could be targeted to strengthen the PA system, including system supports around financing, evaluation, governance, and standardisation of state-based surveillance systems. An evidence-based guide for policy action and investment was developed.
Presenter 2: Lindsey Reece. Title: A Systems approach to NSW Physical Activity Strategy. A Systems approach to NSW Physical Activity Strategy. A whole-of- Government Physical Activity Strategy is a priority for the NSW Office of Sport. An evidence review highlighted the need for a multifaceted, multisectoral approach. The eight investments that work for physical activity were the central organising framework for the strategic development process which enabled state agencies to unite around a shared goal. Eight sector specific workshops were convened to highlight gaps in current provision and identify sector specific priorities. Common cross cutting themes were then addressed at a multiagency forum which informed the drafting of key strategic documents. Quantitative and qualitative evaluations were completed throughout.
Presenter 3: Katie Shearn, Anna Lowe, Professor Rob Copeland. Title: Translating whole system approaches into practice to increase population physical activity. Move More is a whole systems approach (WSA) to physical activity in Sheffield. The approach has established principles and values by which we want to stimulate change. We have operationalised this through a cyclical approach of testing and learning across six interlinked areas of work: active communities, active healthcare, active environments, active workforces, active schools and active through sport. We will explain how changes have come about and ongoing tensions across three themes. Our efforts to build and sustain active participation from key institutions across the city; our approaches to support community organisations build capacity in our neighbourhoods, and; our work to join up across sectors through the development of our Move More Ambassador Network.
Discussant: Professor Adrian Bauman (University of Sydney, The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre and WHO Collaborating Centre for Physical Activity, Nutrition and Obesity)
Results: System interactions across these projects will provide practical examples of mapping systems; stakeholder engagement and management; willingness to take risks and challenge existing practice, whilst describing the daily tensions as systems leaders. The collation of experience and processes applied throughout the evolution of these innovative projects will provide a key forum for knowledge sharing. A facilitated discussion on how to reorient future practice towards equitable and sustainable environments that enable physical activity to be embedded within everyday life will also occur.
Conclusions: This symposium will be useful in supporting other communities to translate systems evidence into practice.
Conflict of Interest and Funding: The SPRINTER research group is a partnership between the University of Sydney and the Office of Sport NSW government. SPRINTER receives funding for a three research program.
ASAPa: Funding for this research has been provided from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund. The MRFF provides funding to support health and medical research and innovation, with the objective of improving the health and wellbeing of Australians. MRFF funding has been provided to The Australian Prevention Partnership Centre under the MRFF Boosting Preventive Health Research Program. Further information on the MRFF is available at www.health.gov.au/mrff.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2021 Lindsey Reece, Adrian Bauman, Tracy Nau, Karen Lee, Ben J. Smith, William Bellew, Peter McCue, Phil Hamdorf, Katie Shearn, Anna Lowe, Rob J. Copeland
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
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