HARLOW INNOVATION PARK
ACTIVE COMMUNITY STUDY
HARLOW INNOVATION PARK ACTIVE COMMUNITY PROJECT
INTRODUCTION & INVITATION
We are inviting all Harlow Innovation Park local residents and staff who live, work and spend their time in and around the Park to participate anonymously in a new online research study which will investigate how facilitated physical activity over 12 weeks can improve the health and wellbeing of the community.
By taking part, not only will you have an opportunity to enhance your personal physical and mental health, but you will help us to understand:
How physical activity influences the physical & mental health of a community
How physical activity influences the physical & mental health of employees in the workplace
What exercise programs & support are best & most engaging for the Harlow community
How the design of the Innovation Park influences the physical activity patterns of the local community
The study will be open for all Harlow Innovation Park local residents and staff who live, work and spend their time in and around the immediate area and will ask all participants to be physically active over a 12 week period.
You can register anonymously below anytime from the
5 April - 30 June 2021.
WHAT IS THE AIM OF THE RESEARCH?
The primary aim is to understand whether community exercise programs over a 12 week period can lead to better health, wellbeing and quality of life for Harlow Innovation Park employees and the wider local community.
The secondary aim is to understand how the newly regenerated Harlow Innovation Park influences the physical activity patterns of locals and how this influences their ongoing health and wellbeing.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS
Because regular physical activity is, across the age spectrum, associated with a range of physical, cognitive and mental health benefits. The World Health Organisation and Public Health England have guidelines on the amount that people should be doing each week.
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether community exercise programs can encourage Harlow Innovation Park employees and local residents alike to exercise more or not.
By encouraging physical activity in and around the newly built Harlow Innovation Park, we can identify how the programs and design of the innovation park itself, can influence your physical and mental health over time.
This research will help inform how we operate the Innovation Park in support of employee and community exercise programs and help improve how we design and build community focused developments in future.
WHAT ARE WE DOING?
We are doing a community wide research study of Harlow Innovation Park employees and residents to see how free community exercise support undertaken in and around the newly built Innovation Park influences the communities physical health and mental wellbeing over time.
The study is focusing on what exercise program support, park design and public amenities can be provided to improve the communities physical and mental health.
We are looking for over 80 Harlow Innovation Park locals to take part in the research which will consist of exercising over a 12 week period.
WHO ARE WE?
The study has been commissioned by VINCI UK Developments; as the development delivery partner for Harlow Innovation Park.
We have commissioned LifeProven Wellbeing Property Consultancy as the professional academic research practice to deliver the study and associated publications.
Study Ethics Approval Registration - 20/21-22817
WHAT DO WE MEAN BY PHYSICAL & MENTAL HEALTH?
Physical health is the well-being of the body and the proper functioning of the organism of individuals, which is a normal condition for individuals of both physical, and mental condition who are not suffering from any type of sickness.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological and social well-being. It affects different areas of our lives, like how we feel and our behaviour. Just like we need to look after our physical health, we need to look after our mental health too. It can be thought of as:
How we feel about ourselves and the people around us
Our ability to learn from others and to develop emotionally
Our ability to make and keep friends and relationships
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
If you are a Harlow Innovation Park employee, staff member or local resident who spends time in or around the area, you can help by participating anonymously!
By participating, you will get to see how consistent exercise influences your own physical health, mental wellbeing and quality of life over time.
If you decide to take part anonymously, you will complete the following:
A simple online questionnaire which asks questions about how you feel about your health, your wellbeing and your local area.
We will send you a special wrist worn watch called an accelerometer (scientific term for a smart version of a Fitbit) to wear for a 7 day period. This watch will track and record your activity levels over a standard week.
We will then put all participants into 2 groups, the first group will be given bespoke exercise plans tailored to each participants personal exercise preferences with guidance on ideal exercise targets. The second group will be given written information on the benefits of exercise.
We will then ask all participants from both groups to undertake your own physical activity at your own leisure over a 12 week period, with you documenting how often, how long for and where you exercised.
At the end of your 12 weeks, you will once again complete the simple online questionnaire and be sent the special wrist work watch (accelerometer) for another 7 day period.
The anonymous study information will then be analysed and used to publish a publicly available academic report, identifying any changes in health and wellbeing over the period for.
WHAT IS IN IT FOR YOU?
TAKE PART IN REAL LIFE SCIENCE HAPPENING WITHIN YOUR COMMUNITY
INCREASE YOUR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
INCREASE YOUR AWARENESS FOR YOUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH
HELP HARLOW INNOVATION PARK TO UNDERSTAND HOW BEST TO HELP THE COMMUNITY
HELP RESEARCHERS TO UNDERSTAND HOW URBAN DESIGN INFLUENCES HOW YOU FEEL AND EXERCISE, SO THEY CAN BUILD AND OPERATE BETTER BUILDINGS FOR COMMUNITIES
The Study will be open for participant registration from 5 April – 30 June 2021, participants can register at any stage during this period. Upon registration, participants will receive the following:
An email which provides the direct contact details for the studies research team for any questions you may have
Your unique Study ID
An online link to complete your anonymous online survey
You will be posted your wrist worn accelerometer (a smarter version of a FitBit) to wear for 7 days and to return to us via the post
Randomly Allocated Study Groups
Once the Baseline Assessment is complete, you will be randomly allocated into one of two study groups.
Group 1 will receive bespoke physical activity programs tailored to each participants personal exercise preferences. This will include receiving guidance on the ideal exercise targets for health and wellbeing benefits and a logbook to record when, what type, for how long and where you undertook physical activity.
Group 2 will receive written information on the benefits of physical activity and a logbook to record when, what type, for how long and where you undertook physical activity.
12 Week Independent Physical Activity Period
All anonymous participants will then be asked to complete your own physical activity, at your own leisure over the course of the next 12 weeks. It is up to you as to when, what type, for how long and where you would like to exercise during this period; however all we require is for you to record any physical activity within your logbook.
At the End of Week 12
At the conclusion of the 12 weeks physical activity period, both groups will receive the following:
Online link to complete your anonymous online survey.
You will be posted your wrist worn accelerometer (a smarter version of a FitBit) to wear for 7 days and to return to us via the post.
You will email or post your phsycial activity log book which recorded when, what type, for how long and where you completed exercise during the period.
Data Analysis and Academic Report Publication
At the conclusion of the study, the anonymous results will be analysed and published within a Peer Reviewed Academic Journal and also issued to the Harlow local community to identify the health and wellbeing influences documented.
We are performing this project in association with Vinci UK Developments Limited (Vinci) but your personal data will not be shared with them. We shall only share aggregated data and our research report with Vinci.
As a participant in this project you shall be helping Vinci and LifeProven understand how the physical environment and activities make Harlow Innovation Park users (staff and / or residents) feel and to understand the relationship between physical environment and health and well-being including sleep patterns, levels of physical activity and mental health factors.
We shall ask you questions relating to your experience of the environment of Harlow Innovation Park in both a structured (closed questions) and unstructured way (open questions.) We shall also ask you questions about your health and well-being in accordance with various globally recognised standards, in order to be able compare your experience of Harlow Innovation Park with others’ experiences of other environments. Finally, we may ask you to provide data from an application on an accelerometer or your smartphone, which keeps track of health indicators such as step counts.