- A review on the effectiveness of non-group based healthy lifestyle programs that recommends a technology-based delivery mode, including the use of online learning platforms, to achieve higher acceptability and optimise engagement by parents and children (Lombard et al., 2016).
- A systematic review of family and home-based randomised control trials aimed at treating overweight and obesity in children ages 2–7 years that recommends that interventions focus on improving physical activity and nutrition behaviours, with parents as the primary agent of change (Knowlden et al. 2012). This review also recommends delivery modes that are convenient for parents, e.g. online learning, should be considered, as the time commitment for parents to attend sessions was cited as a major barrier.
- And, studies show that parental interest in telephone-based coaching to promote healthy habits for children is strong, particularly in parents with children younger than 5 years old (Blaine et al., 2015).
The best part is…
Active8 is now available for parents and carers with kids aged between 2-6 years old across Australia, free of charge as part of the pilot program as of now!
Here’s a further breakdown of Active8.
Online learning sessions
Over 8 weeks, parents and carers complete a 30 minute online activity session each week, focusing on nutrition, physical activity or behaviour change topics. Sessions include interactive activities, narrated content, videos, animations and games that increase engagement while delivering key information in a clear, simple manner. The sessions can be completed at a time that is convenient for the family on a laptop, computer or tablet.
Each family is supported by a qualified health professional through fortnightly phone coaching calls. Health coaches help parents and carers to make healthy lifestyle changes for their family through problem solving, answering questions and providing positive reinforcement. Behaviour change strategies throughout the program are based on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. The coaching approach incorporates elements of Motivational Interviewing to encourage and support families to make positive changes.
Each week families work towards three new targets. Targets build on one another and encourage healthy lifestyle behaviours including:
- drinking water
- eating fruit and vegetables
- being active
- reducing screen time, and
- positive role modelling by parents and carers.
Resources and rewards
Fun, practical and supportive resources are delivered to families, including handouts, posters, physical activity equipment, a portion cup and a label reading tool.
Regular Zoom meetings take place fortnightly in which families discuss topics and support each other. These are facilitated by a health professional from the Active8team. Parents and carers can also join a closed Facebook group where health coaches encourage families to ask questions, share achievements and discuss challenges within a like-minded group.
Pre and post program data collected includes physical activity levels and eating habits. Post program reports are provided to referring health professionals with family consent.
Referrals and registrations are now open.
Health professionals can refer eligible participants to the Active8 Program by completing a program referral form and returning to:
Fax: 1300 325 301
Phone: 1300 822 953
Families can enrol directly via:
Phone: 1300 822 953
Text: 0409 745 645
Then the Active8 team will then contact the family to provide more information and help them get started.
Are you a health professional or community organisation?
Spread the word about Active8 to families by downloading brochures, posters, newsletter inserts and social media tiles here.