One size does not fit all: contextualising family physical activity using a write, draw, show and tell approach

Robert Noonan, Stuart Fairclough, Zoe Knowles, Lynne Boddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
132 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding family physical activity (PA) behaviour is essential for designing effective family-based 15 PA interventions. However, effective approaches to capture the perceptions and ‘lived experiences’ of 16 families are not yet well established. The aims of the study were to 1) demonstrate how a write, draw, 17 show and tell (WDST) methodological approach can be appropriate to familybased PA research, and 18 2) present two distinct family case studies to provide insights into the habitual PA behaviour and 19 experiences of a nuclear and single parent family. Six participants (including 2 ‘target’ children aged 9-20 11 years, 2 mothers and 2 siblings aged 6-8 years) from 2 families were purposefully selected to take 21 part in the study based on their family structure. Participants completed a paper-based PA diary and 22 wore an ActiGraph GT9X accelerometer on their left wrist for up to 10 weekdays and 16 weekend days. 23 A range of WDST tasks were then undertaken by each family to offer contextual insight into their 24 family-based PA. The selected families participated in different levels and modes of PA, and reported 25 contrasting leisure opportunities and experiences. These novel findings encourage researchers to tailor 26 family-based PA intervention programmes to the characteristics of the family.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59
Issue number7
Early online date14 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2017


  • physical activity
  • children
  • family
  • accelerometer
  • ActiGraph
  • diary
  • raw
  • context
  • write
  • draw
  • show and tell (WDST)


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