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BEATS-2 Student Survey:
Information for Parents

BEATS_Photo_B2_Info-Parents_1What is the BEATS-2 Student Survey about?

School-age children are becoming more sedentary. We know that lack of physical activity in adolescents increases risks of health problems both in teenage years and in adult life. Active transport to school is an effective way to increase physical activity in youth. However, to date we know little about adolescents’ perceptions of active transport to school. This information is important to design appropriate programmes to prevent health problems later in life.

  • The aim of the BEATS-2 Study is to assess transport to school habits, the neighbourhood environment and physical activity of students aged 13 to 18 years in Dunedin.
  • This study is an extension of the Dunedin’s BEATS Study (2013-2017). A summary of the published BEATS Study findings to date is available here.

Why my child?

We have invited all Dunedin secondary schools to take part in this study. If your child’s school has decided to take part in this study, all students in your child’s class may be invited to participate. All students, however, can individually decide whether or not to take part in the study.

Where will this study take place?

The study will take place at your child's school in 2021–2022.

Trained researchers will visit the school to conduct the study. The study will be organised to cause minimum disruption to your child’s education.

What will the study involve for your child?

The trained researchers would like to collect the following information during one school hour:

  • Online study questionnaire about adolescents' transport to school, neighbourhood environment and lifestyle habits. 
  • Physical assessment (height and weight measurements) in a screened-off area of the class. Students will be asked to take off only coats and shoes.

Additional optional assessments include:

  • Wearing a small physical activity device (the size is a little larger than an iPod shuffle) on their hip for 7 days.
  • Participation in one focus group at school. A group of 6 to 10 students will be asked about their perceptions, opinions, beliefs, and attitudes towards active transport to school. Questions are asked in an interactive group setting where participants are free to talk with other group members. (45-60 minutes at school)

What will the researchers do with the collected information?

The data collected will be summarised, presented to policy makers, and reported in research journals. At the end of the study the overall results will be available to students and parents who take part. We will also supply a summary of average findings to the school principal of each participating school. No personal information about individual students will be reported.

Where do I get more information about this study?

You can download the study information sheet for parents here:

Who can tell me more about this study?

If you have any questions you can contact the BEATS Study Coordinator by telephone, email or by writing:

BEATS-2 Study Coordinator 
Tel +64 3 479 5461
Email beats@otago.ac.nz
Address: Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, PO Box 56, Dunedin, 9054

What do I do now?

We very much hope that your child will be able to take part in the BEATS-2 Study if approached by their school. Please discuss the study with your child. Your child can choose not to take part, or they can withdraw from the study at any time. This will not affect their future education or care in any way.

All students who wish to participate in this study will need to sign consent. Parental consent is not required. However, if you do not wish your child to take part in this study, please inform your child’s school.

List of Dunedin secondary schools

Bayfield High School
Columba College
John McGlashan College
Kaikorai Valley College
Kavanagh College
King's High School
Logan Park High School
Otago Boys' High School
Otago Girls' High School
Queen's High School
St Hilda's Collegiate School
Taieri College

Thank you to all past BEATS Research participants!

The BEATS Research Team would like to thank all 12 Dunedin secondary schools, 1780 students, 367 parents and 12 school principals who participated in the original BEATS Study in Dunedin in 2014-2017. We also would like to thank all 11 rural Otago schools, 1014 students, 78 parents and 2 school principals who took part in the BEATS Rural Study in 2018. Their time and effort have been much appreciated and created a lot of value for their schools, Dunedin City and New Zealand!!