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The University of Southampton

City students collaborate in innovative research to promote healthy lifestyles

Published: 1 February 2019
Students from Oasis Mayfield
Students from Oasis Academy Mayfield take part in a LifeLab session

Students and staff at two secondary schools in Southampton have taken part in cutting-edge health research aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in young people.

Science classes at Oasis Academy Mayfield and Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill, Southampton were chosen to take part in an exciting new study programme called EACH-B (Engaging Adolescents in Behaviour Change) with LifeLab, a unique project that enables young people to make better choices about their lifestyles and health based on their own scientific enquiry.

The group of students took part in an assessment as part of a lesson about health which involved having their height and weight recorded, along with completing questionnaires about their diet, lifestyle and wellbeing.

As part of the project, students were asked to wear a watch-like activity tracker for a week, complete a log of their sleep pattern and other activities during their usual day. These assessments will take place twice, four months apart.

David Spratt, the Director of Science at Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill, commented on the day, saying: “It was brilliant to host the EACH-B Research Team at Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill. It is a great opportunity for the students to be part of a real research project particularly around the relevant topic of the health behaviours.”

Professor Mary Barker, the EACH-B Project Lead at the University of Southampton, commented: “Oasis Mayfield and Lord’s Hill Academies have been amazing partners in this project.  We could not be doing this ground-breaking piece of research without their support and enthusiasm.  Staff and students at both schools have been full of ideas and energy, and the students have been particularly brilliant in helping us find new ways of measuring and testing this intervention.”

Robert Forder, Principal of Oasis Academy Lord’s Hill, added: “We are extremely fortunate to be working with LifeLab on this exciting project.  This is part of the Academy’s commitment to provide a modern, world-class curriculum that allows our students to learn first-hand the science behind important health issues.”

EACH-B aims to develop an intervention that motivates and supports teenagers to eat better and exercise more through participation in the LifeLab project, from teachers trained to support students to improve their diets and exercise, and by using a specially-designed, interactive smartphone app that involves friends and has game features.

LifeLab is based at University Hospital Southampton, and is a joint initiative of the University of Southampton’s School of Education and Faculty of Medicine along with the National Institute for Health Research Southampton Biomedical Research Centre.


Notes for editors

More than 9,000 students have participated in the LifeLab program which is based at purpose-built laboratories at University Hospital Southampton.

Find out more about LifeLab at or follow us @LifelabSoton


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