Children's physical activity: Kelly Mackintosh’s Story

Children's physical activity: Kelly Mackintosh’s Story

Kelly Mackintosh travelled to Australia in 2015 to research effective ways of measuring and visualising children’s physical activity levels.

The Fellowship

At the time of her Fellowship, Kelly was a Senior Lecturer in the College of Engineering at Swansea University. Her six-week journey across Australia saw her visiting prestigious Australian institutes exploring novel ways of measuring, analysing and visualising children’s physical activity levels. During her Fellowship Kelly learnt that sharing ideas and working in a collaborative manner can lead to substantial impact.

The Results

Since returning to the UK, Kelly has used the experience of her Fellowship to expand her work utilising technology and novel analytics to measure and understand how much, or little, children move. This work resulted in her being invited to give a keynote presentation at a 2017 government conference on integrating technology to get people more physically active. Kelly is now part of a team who have run international workshops in the USA and Canada on using 3D printing to understand and motivate movement in children, and she has also published research on machine learning with colleagues in the USA.

A joint PhD with Dr Melitta McNarry has enabled an intervention to be implemented in South Wales providing 100 children with personalised 3D models of their physical activity levels, helping them to understand how important physical activity is for staying healthy. This research has now been presented at various international conferences and live printing of 3D models at the British Science Festival in 2016 received headline news coverage!

Watch a video on 3D printing children’s physical activity

Kelly has written numerous publications expanding statistical and physical activity analyses, with some currently under review with colleagues met whilst travelling in Australia. Her research in this area led to her being awarded the HEPA (Health Enhancing Physical Activity) European Rising Star Award in 2016, as well as winning an Innovation Award at Swansea University.

Kelly plans to continue integrating novel approaches to measuring and visualising movement, with colleagues both within the University, as well as across the world.

Visit the 3D printing physical activity website

Follow @3DPhysicalActiv on Twitter

Watch Kelly’s Fellowship report

Apply for a Fellowship

Read more Fellows’ Stories in Science, Technology & Innovation