• Parents’ expectations and experiences of the 6-week baby check: a qualitative study in primary care

      Gilworth, Gill; Milton, Sarah; Chater, Angel M.; Nazareth, Irwin; Roposch, Andreas; Green, Judith; King's College London; University of Bedfordshire; University College London (Royal College of General Practitioners, 2020-11-18)
      Background The Newborn and Infant Physical Examination (NIPE) programme requires all babies to have a comprehensive health check at 6–8 weeks of age. These are typically completed by GPs. Although person-centred care has achieved prominence in maternity care policy in recent years, there is limited empirical evidence on what parents and/or carers expect from the check, and how far experiences meet their needs. Aim  To explore the expectations and experiences of parents attending their GP for a baby check. Design & setting A qualitative study was undertaken in primary care in London. Method Content analysis was undertaken of transcripts of semi-structured interviews. Interviews were conducted with a total of 16 participants (14 mothers and two fathers) who had recently attended for a 6-week check for their baby. Results Despite the availability of plentiful sources of general advice on infants’ health and development, a thorough check by a trusted GP was an important milestone for most parents. They had few specific expectations of the check in terms of what examinations were undertaken, but even experienced parents anticipated reassurance about their baby’s normal development. Many also hoped for reassurance about their own parenting. Parents appreciated GPs who explained what they were doing during the examination; space to raise any concerns; and combined mother and baby checks. Referrals to secondary care were generally experienced as reassuring rather than a source of anxiety. Conclusion The baby check meets needs beyond those of the NIPE screening programme. Protecting the time for a thorough consultation is important for parents at what can be a vulnerable time.
    • Perceived barriers and facilitators to breaking up sitting time among desk-based office workers: a qualitative investigation using the TDF and COM-B

      Ojo, Samson Oluseye; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Hewson, David; Chater, Angel M.; University of Bedfordshire (MDPI, 2019-08-14)
      High amounts of sedentary behaviour, such as sitting, can lead to adverse health consequences. Interventions to break up prolonged sitting in the workplace have used active workstations, although few studies have used behaviour change theory. This study aimed to combine the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and the Capability, Opportunity, and Motivation to Behaviour system (COM-B) to investigate perceived barriers and facilitators to breaking up sitting in desk-based office workers. Semi-structured interviews with 25 desk-based employees investigated barriers and facilitators to breaking up sitting in the workplace. Seven core inductive themes were identified: ‘Knowledge-deficit sitting behaviour’, ‘Willingness to change’, ‘Tied to the desk’, ‘Organisational support and interpersonal influences’, ‘Competing motivations’, ‘Emotional influences’, and ‘Inadequate cognitive resources for action’. These themes were then deductively mapped to 11 of the 14 TDF domains and five of the six COM-B constructs. Participants believed that high amounts of sitting had adverse consequences but lacked knowledge regarding recommendations and were at times unmotivated to change. Physical and social opportunities were identified as key influences, including organisational support and height-adjustable desks. Future research should identify intervention functions, policy categories and behaviour change techniques to inform tailored interventions to change sitting behaviour of office workers. View Full-Text
    • Perceived influences on reducing prolonged sitting in police staff: a qualitative investigation using the Theoretical Domains Framework and COM-B model

      Brierley, Marsha L.; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Every, Sofie A.; Staines, Taylor A.; Chater, Angel M.; ; University of Bedfordshire; University College London; Brunel University (Biomed Central, 2021-11-19)
      Background: Workplace interventions have shown promise for reducing sitting in office workers. Police office staff remain an understudied population group that work within a disciplined organisation with distinctive work tasks around public safety, potentially affecting their capability, opportunity, and motivation to change sitting behaviour. This study aimed to assess the perceived influences on reducing workplace sitting in non-operational, desk-based police staff in order to derive theoretical determinants for behaviour change. Methods: Ten police staff from a single police force in Bedfordshire, England [eight female; 39.5±11.5 years] took part in face-to-face semi-structured interviews lasting 46±11 minutes on average. Thematic analysis identified key themes which were then mapped onto the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) and linked to the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model. Results: Seven themes were identified: ‘Work tasks are seated’, ‘Social norm is to sit’, ‘Belief in ability to regulate behaviour’, ‘Knowledge of health risks’, ‘Organisational support’, ‘Impact on productivity’, and ‘Perceived autonomy for sitting reduction’. Conclusions: Awareness of behaviour and health impacts (Capability), social and physical support to sit less (Opportunity), and habit formation techniques (Motivation) are recommended considerations in sitting reduction workplace interventions for police staff.
    • Physical activity duration but not energy expenditure differs between daily and intermittent breakfast consumption in adolescent girls: a randomized crossover trial

      Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Wells, Emma K.; Crawford, Natasha S.G.; Afeef, Sahar M.O.; Tolfrey, Keith (Oxford University Press, 2018-02-27)
      Background: It is not known whether breakfast frequency affects physical activity (PA) in children or adolescents. Objective: This study examined the effect of daily compared with intermittent breakfast consumption on estimated PA energy expenditure (PAEE) in adolescent girls. Methods: Using a randomized crossover design, 27 girls (age 12.4 ± 0.5 y, body mass index 19.3 ± 3.0 kg∙m-2) completed two, 7-day conditions. A standardized breakfast (~1674 kJ) was consumed every day before 09:00 in the daily breakfast consumption (DBC) condition. The standardized breakfast was consumed on only three days before 09:00 in the intermittent breakfast consumption (IBC) condition alternating with breakfast omission on the remaining four days (i.e., only water consumed before 10:30). Combined heart rate-accelerometry was used to estimate PAEE throughout each condition. Statistical analyses were completed using condition by time of day repeated measures analysis of variance. The primary outcome was PAEE and the secondary outcome was time spent in PA. Results: Daily estimated PAEE from sedentary, light, moderate and vigorous intensities and total PAEE were not significantly different between the conditions. The condition by time of day interaction for sedentary time (P = 0.05) indicated that the girls spent 11.5 min/d more time sedentary in IBC compared with DBC during 15:30-bedtime (P = 0.04). Light PA was 19.8 min/d higher during DBC compared with IBC (P = 0.05), which was accumulated during wake-10:30 (P = 0.04) and 15:30-bedtime (P = 0.03). There were no significant differences in time spent in MPA or VPA between the conditions. Conclusions: Adolescent girls spent more time in light PA before 10:30 and after school and spent less time sedentary after school when a standardized breakfast was consumed daily compared with intermittently across seven days. However, breakfast manipulation did not affect estimated daily PAEE. 
    • Physical activity for the benefit of mental health outcomes in young people: a focus on parental bereavement

      Chater, Angel M.; Williams, Jane; Shorter, Gillian; Howlett, Neil; University of Bedfordshire; University of Ulster; University of Hertfordshire (BASES, 2020-06-13)
      First published in The Sport and Exercise Scientist, Issue 64, Summer 2020. Published by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences - www.bases.org.uk”
    • Physical activity levels and motivational responses of boys and girls: a comparison of direct instruction and tactical games models of games teaching in physical education

      Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Harvey, Stephen; Savory, Louise A.; Fairclough, Stuart J.; Kozub, Stephen A.; Kerr, Catherine J. (SAGE Publications Ltd, 2014-10-21)
      The purpose of this study was to independently determine the levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and self-determined motivation of both boys and girls as they participated in prolonged units of invasion games (i.e. 6–12 lessons) through two pedagogical models: direct instruction and the tactical games model (TGM). It was hypothesized that given the differences in domain interaction and lesson structure, both boys and girls would gain higher levels of physical activity (PA) and possess higher quality motivation during TGM-based lessons when compared to direct instruction lessons. Seventy-two children aged 11–12 years (42 boys, 30 girls) were randomly assigned to either a control or intervention group (TGM). Children wore RT3® triaxial accelerometers over a 12 week period to objectively measure time spent in MVPA. The System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) tool was completed during each lesson to additionally assess lesson context information and teacher behaviour. SDT questionnaires were also completed, pre and post-intervention. Boys in the TGM condition displayed significantly higher levels of MVPA in both rugby and football activities in comparison to the control group although no significant differences in motivation were noted post-intervention. While girls in the TGM condition recorded comparable PA levels in the football sessions, they recorded significantly lower PA activity levels in the netball lessons. There were no significant differences in girls’ motivation post-intervention. It is recommended that future studies build on this research by continuing to examine PA and the quality of student motivation while using GCAs over prolonged unit lengths (i.e. greater than 12 lessons) using structural equation modelling techniques to assess the relationships between, and mediating influences of, SDT constructs on PA levels.
    • Physical education contributes to total physical activity levels and predominantly in higher intensity physical activity categories

      Kerr, Catherine J.; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Charman, Sarah J.; Harvey, Stephen; Savory, Louise A.; Fairclough, Stuart J.; Govus, Andrew (Sage, 2016-10-04)
      Children’s engagement in physical activity of a vigorous intensity or higher is more effective at promoting cardiorespiratory fitness than moderate physical activity. It remains unclear how higher intensity physical activity varies between days when schoolchildren participate in physical education (PE) than on non-PE days. The purpose of this study was to assess how PE contributes to sedentary behaviour and the intensity profile of physical activity accumulated on PE-days than on non-PE days. 53 schoolchildren (36 girls, 11.7 ± 0.3 years) completed 5-day minute-by-minute habitual physical activity monitoring using triaxial accelerometers to determine time spent sedentary (<1.5 METs) and in light (1.5-2.9 METs), moderate (3-5.9 METs), vigorous (6-8.9 METs), hard (9-11.9 METs) and very hard intensity (≥12 METs) physical activity on PE-days and non-PE days. Sedentary time was higher on non-PE days than on PE-days (mean difference: 62 minutes, p < 0.001). Hard and very hard intensity physical activity was significantly higher on PE days compared with non-PE days (mean total difference: 33 minutes, all significant at p < 0.001). During the PE lesson, boys spent more time in hard (p < 0.01) and very hard (p < 0.01) physical activity compared to girls. Schoolchildren spent significantly more time in higher intensity physical activity and significantly less time sedentary on PE-days than on non-PE days. As well as reducing sedentary behaviour, the opportunity to promote such health-promoting higher intensity physical activity in the school setting warrants further investigation.
    • Polymorphonuclear leucocyte phagocytic function, γδ T-lymphocytes and testosterone as separate stress-responsive markers of prolonged, high-intensity training programs

      Leal, Diogo Luis Campos Vaz; Standing, Ariane S.I.; Furmanski, Anna L.; Hough, John; University of Bedfordshire; University Institute of Maia; University of Florida; Nottingham Trent University (Elsevier, 2021-03-06)
      Excessive exercise with limited recovery may lead to detrimental states of overreaching or the overtraining syndrome. Chronic maladaptation in endocrine and immune mechanisms occur with the incidence of these states. Exercise-induced cortisol and testosterone responses have been proposed as biomarkers of overreaching, with blunted responses following intensified-training periods. Yet, limited information on the effects of overreaching in immunity is available. Healthy individuals completed a 30-min running protocol (the RPETP) before and after a 12-day intensified-training period. Blood and saliva were collected before, after and 30min after RPETP at pre-training and post-training. Plasma and salivary cortisol and testosterone, leucocyte proliferation and polymorphonuclear leucocyte phagocytic activity were examined. Plasma and salivary cortisol were acutely unaffected pre-training (−14% and 0%, p > 0.05) and post-training (−14% and +46%, p > 0.05). Comparing pre-training with post-training, blunted responses were observed in plasma testosterone (43%–19%, p &lt; 0.05) and salivary testosterone (55%–24%, p > 0.05). No acute or resting changes in total leucocyte counts or most leucocyte subsets occurred pre-training or post-training. Yet, a 194% acute elevation in γδ T-lymphocyte number occurred pre-training (p &lt; 0.05), and average resting concentrations were 174% higher post-training. Baseline phagocytic activity was 47% lower post-training (p &lt; 0.05). Intensified training was detrimental, significantly reducing phagocytic activity. Testosterone blunted post-training, indicating an excessive training-related hypothalamic-pituitary gonadal dysfunction. The γδ T-lymphocytes sensitivity to exercise was noted, rendering it as a potential stress-responsive cellular marker. The usefulness of the RPETP to track the onset of overreaching is proposed.
    • Postactivation potentiation and change of direction speed in elite academy rugby players

      Marshall, James; Turner, Anthony; Jarvis, Paul; Maloney, Sean J.; Cree, Jon; Bishop, Chris; Middlesex University; University of Bedfordshire (NSCA National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2019-06-01)
      This study investigated the effect of preceding proagility sprints with maximal isometric squats to determine if postactivation potentiation (PAP) could be harnessed in change of direction speed. Sixteen elite under-17 rugby union players (age: 16 6 0.41 years; body mass: 88.7 6 12.1 kg; height: 1.83 6 0.07 m) from an Aviva Premiership rugby club were tested. Subjects performed a change of direction specific warm-up, followed by 2 baseline proagility tests. After 10-minute recovery, 3 3 3-second maximal isometric squats with a 2-minute recovery between sets were completed as a conditioning activity (CA) on a force plate where peak force and mean rate of force development over 300 milliseconds were measured. The proagility test was repeated at set time intervals of 1, 3, 5, and 7 minutes after the CA. Overall proagility times were significantly slower (p, 0.05) at 1 minute post-CA compared with the baseline (3.3%), with no significant differences occurring at 3, 5, or 7 minutes post-CA. Therefore, it appears that performing multiple sets of maximal isometric squats do not enhance proagility performance.
    • Postprandial insulin and triglyceride concentrations are suppressed in response to breaking up prolonged sitting in Qatari females

      Chrismas, Bryna C.; Taylor, Lee; Cherif, Anissa; Sayegh, Suzan M.; Rizk, Nasser; El-Gamal, Abdelrahman; Allenjawi, Salwa Hassan; Bailey, Daniel Paul; University of Bedfordshire; Qatar University; et al. (Frontiers, 2019-06-11)
    • Power, space and the new stadium: the example of Arsenal Football Club

      Church, Andrew; Penny, Simon (Routledge, 2013-01-03)
      In many sports, but especially professional soccer in the UK, clubs have recently relocated to new stadiums so as to meet new health and safety requirements and also develop new opportunities for income generation. The process of stadium relocation involves the emergence of new spaces that have implications for the power relations between stadium owners, managers and sport supporters. Existing studies provide a limited understanding of the changing nature of power relations in new stadiums. This paper reveals the power modalities and resources involved in the constantly changing new stadium spaces. A case study of Arsenal Football Club in London and the process of ‘Arsenalisation’ in the club's new stadium reveals how material and virtual spaces are used by supporters to resist, confirm and negotiate the resources and practices of stadium managers seeking to control their activities.
    • Preparing pharmacy students to communicate effectively with adolescents

      Annis, Izabela E.; Smith, Felicity; Gilmartin-Thomas, Julia F.M.; Sleath, Betsy; Cooper Bailey, Stacy; Carpenter, Delesha M.; Chater, Angel M.; MacAllister, Catherine; Pyzik, Oksana; Wayman, Brandi; et al. (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2019-10-01)
      Objectives: To develop an elective workshop designed to equip pharmacy students with skills to effectively communicate with adolescents. To conduct preliminary evaluation of the workshop to assess its impact on pharmacy student perceived confidence and knowledge relating to the importance of adolescent counselling and counselling techniques. Methods: Academics from three universities in three countries collaborated on the workshop development and evaluation. The workshop structure was designed upon the foundations of communication best practices and established techniques, and it consisted of two online modules and an in-person tutorial. Pharmacy students undertaking a 4-year Bachelor, Master or Doctor of Pharmacy degree from all three participating universities evaluated the workshop via pre- and post-questionnaires. Key findings: A total of 81 pharmacy students volunteered to attend and evaluate the workshop. Of these 81 students, 31 completed paired pre- and post-questionnaires, 44 students completed unpaired questionnaires and six students were lost to follow-up. Of the paired pre- and post-questionnaires, students were mostly female (67.7%) with an average age of 24.9 years (standard deviation, SD = 5.6) and were in the first (32.3%), second (16.1%) or third (51.6%) year of their pharmacy programme. Over 80% of students somewhat or strongly agreed that the workshop made them feel more comfortable speaking with young people in pharmacy settings. Mean (SD) perceived confidence (pre = 21.7 (4.0) and post = 24.9 (4.5)) and knowledge scores (pre = 5.2 (1.5) and post = 6.6 (1.6)) significantly improved after undertaking the workshop. Conclusions: The workshop increased pharmacy student perceived confidence and knowledge relating to the importance of adolescent counselling and counselling techniques.
    • The prevalence and predictors of hypertension and the metabolic syndrome in police personnel

      Yates, James; Aldous, Jeffrey William Frederick; Bailey, Daniel Paul; Chater, Angel M.; Mitchell, Andrew C.S.; Richards, Joanna C.; University of Bedfordshire; Brunel University (MDPI, 2021-06-22)
      Hypertension and metabolic syndrome (METSYN) are reportedly high in police forces. This may contribute to health deterioration and absenteeism in police personnel. Police forces comprise of staff in 'operational' and 'non-operational' job types but it is not known if job type is associated to hypertension and METSYN prevalence. This study aimed to explore the prevalence of hypertension and METSYN, the factors associated with the risk of hypertension and METSYN, and compare physiological, psychological, and behavioural factors between operational and non-operational police personnel. Cross-sectional data was collected from 77 operational and 60 non-operational police workers. Hypertension and METSYN were prevalent in 60.5% and 20% of operational and 60.0% and 13.6% of non-operational police personnel, respectively (p > 0.05). Operational job type, moderate organisational stress (compared with low stress) and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were associated with lower odds of hypertension, whereas increasing body mass index was associated with increased odds of hypertension (p &lt; 0.05). None of the independent variables were significantly associated with the odds of METSYN. Operational police had several increased cardiometabolic risk markers compared with non-operational police. Given the high prevalence of hypertension and METSYN in operational and non-operational personnel, occupational health interventions are needed for the police and could be informed by the findings of this study.
    • The prevalence of daily sedentary time in south Asian adults: a systematic review

      Dey, Kamalesh C.; Zakrzewski-Fruer, Julia K.; Smith, Lindsey Rachel; Jones, Rebecca Louise; Bailey, Daniel Paul (MDPI, 2021-09-01)
      This study aimed to systematically review total daily sedentary time in South Asian adults. Seven electronic databases were searched, identifying relevant articles published in peer-reviewed journals between March 1990 and March 2021. The study was designed in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Prospective or cross-sectional design studies reporting total daily sedentary time in South Asian adults (aged ≥18 years), reported in English, were included. Study quality and risk of bias were assessed, and the weighted mean total daily sedentary time was calculated. Fourteen full texts were included in this systematic review from studies that were conducted in Bangladesh, India, Norway, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Pooled sedentary time across all studies was 424 ± 8 min/day. Sedentary time was measured using self-report questionnaires in seven studies, with a weighted mean daily sedentary time of 416 ± 19 min/day. Eight studies used accelerometers and inclinometers with a weighted mean sedentary time of 527 ± 11 min/day. South Asian adults spend a large proportion of their time being sedentary, especially when recorded using objective measures (~9 h/day). These findings suggest that South Asians are an important target population for public health efforts to reduced sedentary time, and researchers and practitioners should seek to standardise and carefully consider the tools used when measuring sedentary time in this population.
    • Privileging the bromance: a critical appraisal of romantic and bromantic relationships

      Robinson, Stefan; White, Adam John; Anderson, Eric; University of Bedfordshire; University of Winchester (Sage, 2017-10-12)
      In this research, utilising data from 30 semi-structured interviews, we examine how  heterosexual undergraduate men compare their experiences of bromances to that of their romantic relationships (romances). We find that the increasingly intimate, emotive and trusting nature of bromances offers young men a new social space for emotional disclosure, outside of traditional heterosexual relationships. Participants state that the lack of boundaries and judgement in a bromance is expressed as emotionally rivalling the benefits of a heterosexual romance. Our participants mostly determined that a bromance offered them elevated emotional stability, enhanced emotional disclosure, social fulfilment, and better conflict resolution, compared to the emotional lives they shared with girlfriends. Thus, this research provides an empirically grounded conceptual framework for understanding men’s view of close homosocial relationships in comparison to their romantic relationship in the 21st century.
    • Prolonged cycling exercise alters neural control strategy, irrespective of carbohydrate dose ingested

      Newell, Michael; Macgregor, Lewis J.; Galloway, Stuart D.R.; Hunter, Angus M. (Wiley, 2020-08-26)
      The interactions between CHO dosage and neuromuscular regulation following fatiguing endurance exercise are not well understood. Fifteen well‐trained male cyclists completed 4 experimental trials of 120‐min submaximal cycling (95% lactate threshold) during which water (0 g CHO·h−1) or CHO beverages (20, 39, or 64 g CHO·h−1) were consumed every 15 minutes, at a rate of 1 L·h−1, followed by a work‐matched time trial ~30 minutes. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), M‐wave twitch potentiation and torque, motor unit recruitment and firing rate were recorded pre‐ and post‐cycling. Time trial performance improved following 39 and 64 versus 0 and 20 g CHO·h−1, with no effect of CHO dose on any pre‐ to post‐neuromuscular function measures. Pre‐ to post‐cycling exercise: (1) MVC, and M‐wave amplitude and duration declined by −21.5 Nm, and −4.9 mV and −7.1 ms, respectively; (2) peak evoked torque remained unchanged; (3) Firing rate of early‐ and mid‐recruited motor units increased by 0.93 pps and 0.74 pps, respectively, with no change in later‐recruited motor units. Thus, central drive to early‐ and mid‐recruited motor units increases as a result of endurance cycling, due to a likely fatigue compensatory mechanism. However, CHO availability does not appear to influence increased neuromuscular drive.
    • A prospective study exploring the construct and predictive validity of the COM-B model for physical activity

      Howlett, Neil; Schulz, Joerg; Trivedi, Daksha; Troop, Nicholas A.; Chater, Angel M. (SAGE, 2017-11-27)
      This study examined the constructs of capability, opportunity and motivation from the COM-B model and their influence on moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. Using a prospective survey design, 186 healthy adults completed measures representing the theoretical domains framework mapped to the COM-B, and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity 1 week later. The main indicators for the COM constructs were ‘habits’ (Capability), ‘subjective norms’ (Opportunity) and ‘exercise self-identity’ (Motivation). Motivation (77%) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (50%) were strongly predicted, with Capability and Motivation as key drivers of behaviour. Motivation was a strong mediator for Capability on behaviour. Future research should consider this approach for other populations and behaviours.
    • Psychological perspectives on obesity: addressing policy, practice and research priorities

      Perriard-Abdoh, Saskia; Chadwick, Paul; Chater, Angel M.; Chisolm, A.; Doyle, J.; Gillison, Fiona B.; Greaves, C.; Liardet, Joseph; Llewellyn, Clare; McKenna, I.; et al. (British Psychological Society, 2019-09-16)
      Obesity has received much attention from politicians, policymakers, healthcare professionals, the media and the public over the past few decades. Since the formal recognition from the UK government in 1991 that obesity was a sufficient threat to the health of the nation, a targeted response to address the issue has been a policy priority for almost 30 years. A wide range of policies are now in place, including the establishment of nutritional standards in schools, programmes aimed to boost physical activity, and weight management services. However, while some interventions and services have been successful at the individual and community level, there has been little impact at population level. This report looks at what psychological evidence and perspectives can add to help improve our combined response to obesity. It seeks to guide professionals and policy-makers who are working with individuals, groups and populations that are impacted by obesity to take an approach that is guided by psychology. We have sought to produce guidance that recognises and builds on existing services, while identifying areas where further resources, standards, training and staff are required
    • Psychology as a thing of the past

      Chater, Angel M. (British Psychological Society, 2020-08-31)
      Prof-bots or a psychologically informed future? You decide, says Angel Chater.
    • Questioning policy, youth participation and lifestyle sports

      King, Katherine; Church, Andrew (Routledge, 2014-05-05)
      Young people have been identified as a key target group for whom participation in sport and physical activity could have important benefits to health and well-being and consequently have been the focus of several government policies to increase participation in the UK. Lifestyle sports represent one such strategy for encouraging and sustaining new engagements in sport and physical activity in youth groups, however, there is at present a lack of understanding of the use of these activities within policy contexts. This paper presents findings from a government initiative which sought to increase participation in sport for young people through provision of facilities for mountain biking in a forest in south-east England. Findings from qualitative research with 40 young people who participated in mountain biking at the case study location highlight the importance of non-traditional sports as a means to experience the natural environments through forms of consumption which are healthy, active and appeal to their identities. In addition, however, the paper raises questions over the accessibility of schemes for some individuals and social groups, and the ability to incorporate sports which are inherently participant-led into state-managed schemes. Lifestyle sports such as mountain biking involve distinct forms of participation which present a challenge for policy-makers who seek to create and maintain sustainable communities of youth participants.