The Physical Activity for Health – Physical Activity Measurement Training Course 2022 – Aidan Buffey.

This year was the inaugural Physical Activity for Health (PAfH), physical activity measurement training course, held at the University of Limerick in the Physical Education and Sport Science (PESS) Department.

The training course welcomed international speakers Professor Karin Pfeiffer (Michigan State University) and Dr Paul Kelly (The University of Edinburgh) along with core PAfH members;

Professor Catherine Woods

Professor Alan Donnelly

Dr. Brian Carson

Dr. Matthew Herring

Dr. Bláthín Casey

Core PAfH members Professor Elaine Murtagh and Dr. Liam Kelly were in attendance and facilitated some of the sessions, with core PA­fH member Dr. James Green also in attendance.

The physical activity measurement training course was developed and targeted towards early career researchers and those looking to develop their physical activity measurement knowledge. Attendees did not need to have previous physical activity measurement experience to attend the course.

This training course therefore provided a great opportunity to learn from the ground up all things physical activity measurement. The content for this year (2022) encompassed:

  • An introduction to physical activity measurement
  • Principles and benefits of physical activity
  • An overview of device-based measures of physical activity
  • A lab demo of the ActivPAL3TM Micro accelerometer – From initiating the device, to the wear protocol and analysis
  • Research questions and how “What’s the best physical activity measure” is the wrong question
  • Panel discussions of experts experiences measuring physical activity
  • Laboratory techniques to investigate Physical Activity Biomedicine – With a practical demonstration in venepuncture and blood analysis
  •  The measurement of physical activity in special populations (Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis and Children and Adolescents)
  • Throughout the two day training course there was also multiple opportunities to network and book one-to-one consultations with Core PAfH members, the international speakers and PAfH research staff. This was invaluable and I myself took the opportunity to speak with Professor Karin Pfeiffer around early career researcher development, research ideas and methods of process evaluation.
  • Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time attending the PAfH physical activity measurement training course and developed my knowledge around physical activity measurement, the importance of the research question and networking with fellow early career academics as well as engaging with senior academics and experts in this field. I would recommend this course to fellow academics, researchers and anyone interested in the measurement of physical activity.
  • Photo below of following the Keynote speech by Professor Karin Pfeiffer with some of the attendees at the PAfH physical activity training course: 

PAFH Training Course Photo


Aidan Buffey is a PhD student in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, UL. He is funded by the Health Research Institute (HRI) and supervised by Prof. Alan Donnelly and Dr Brian Carson. Aidan is in the fourth year of his PhD project titled ‘Design and evaluation of an intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour and improve health in older adults’. This project aims to implement an office-based intervention designed to interrupt sedentary behaviour with light-intensity physical activity with an emphasis on improving cardiometabolic health markers. Aidan has an MSc in Sport and Exercise Science – Physiology (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2018-2019) and a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science (Manchester Metropolitan University, 2015-2018).

Contact: Linked-In  ORCID  Researchgate @AidanBuffey .

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