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Information for Policy Makers

BEATS Research Programme Overview

Despite multiple benefits of physical activity, the lack of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle in school-age children is a global health problem. Active transport to school is a convenient way to integrate physical activity into everyday life, maintain or increase physical activity level and may develop into environmentally sustainable travel practices over a lifetime.

The Built Environment and Active Transport to School (BEATS) Research Programme is based on contemporary ecological models for active transport (walking or cycling) that identify individual, social, environmental and policy influences on behaviour. This research is designed to advance scientific knowledge and provide service to the government, local community and schools.

The BEATS Research Programme spans the fields of exercise science, health, transportation, environment and education.  

The unique aspects of the programme include a community-based participatory approach and successful multi-sector collaborations between secondary schools, city council, community, and academia. The BEATS Research Programme is a collaboration between the University of Otago, the Dunedin City Council, the Dunedin Secondary Schools' Partnership, the Otago Secondary School Principals' Association, and Auckland University of Technology.

BEATS findings and implications

BEATS research outputs to date 

BEATS Symposium


Latest BEATS Research Programme Report 2013-2020 with a summary of published research findings to date

Summary of implications of BEATS findings for different stakeholders

Find out more about published journal articles, technical reports, presentations, conference abstracts reporting BEATS findings
Check out our symposium proceedings:

The Active Living and Environment Symposium (TALES)

Policy recommendations for active transport in New Zealand

Active Living Laboratory eNewsletter


Learn more about multidisciplinary and cross-sector symposia organised by the Active Living Laboratory, University of Otago:

Find out more about recently released Key Policy Recommendations for Active Transport in New Zealand.

Four BEATS investigators participated in the development of these recommendations.

Sign up online for Active Living Laboratory e-newsletter for quarterly updates about the BEATS Research Programme

Latest issue and previous issues are available here.

Our commitment to continue working with stakeholders

The BEATS Research Team looks forward to continuing to work with the stakeholders and wider community to create a momentum for positive change towards a healthier and more sustainable future in New Zealand.

If you are interested in more details about the BEATS Research Programme, presentations about the BEATS findings and/or collaboration with our research team, please contact Dr Sandy Mandic, BEATS Principal Investigator.