Tackling inactivity in schoolchildren with technology

Tackling inactivity in schoolchildren with technology

Bespoke /IP /Mobile /Service Design /Web

Rocca. has been working on Move More, Sheffield’s physical activity strategy for two years now. Collaborating closely with schools and partners across the city, we have developed a ground-breaking technology intervention, intended to motivate the very young to Move More.

Now dubbed ‘The Schoolyard Challenge’ the Nearfield Communication (NFC) based solution is emergency from its pilot phases as a key tool for schools keen to encourage activity in their pupils.

Schoolchildren receive their own NFC wristbands which, when tagged against receiving sensor boxes as part of a 25 meter journey, award them a point.

These points are then displayed at individual, classroom and inter-school level as part of a ‘gamified’ competition website.

The competition runs for 4 weeks, with gold, bronze and silver medals awarded each week, and an overall winner being crowned champions at the end of the competition.

It is thought that making children aware of the importance of activity in early life improves their chances of staying active in later life. The data that has been collected over the past 18 months and from more than 40 Sheffield Primary Schools is beginning to show a positive impact in behaviour change in children taking part in the activity.


The ambition is to continue to roll the technology out to schools across Sheffield, changing behaviour in the process.

We’re also exploring opportunities with community centres for walking buses to and from school, using the technology.