Data Driven Decisions

ukactive Stategic Partnership Group Event

Digital Mindset: Building Data Driven Solutions, April 2016. 

On Wednesday 27th April 2016, ukactive hosted a Strategic Partner event 'Data Driven Solutions', sponsored by eGym. The event explored the impact of digitalisation in a variety of industries and assessed what digitalisation and advances in data collection and manipulation meant practically for the physical activity sector going forward. 

The ukactive Research Institute presented on the latest insight and developments in data analysis, discussing how to use sector data to develop evidenced based recommendations designed to achieve key strategic business priorities.


Professor Evgeny Káganer

Leading digitalisation and business transformation expert 

Professor Káganer is an Associate Professor at the renowned IESE Business School in Barcelona. His research focuses on understanding how rapid digitalisation reshapes business models and organisations, and his work has been widely cited in major media outlets, such as the Financial Times, Business Week, and Forbes. 

Priot to joining the world of academia Evgeny spent several years working for a major financial services firm in Russia. He holds a PhD in Business Administration from Louisiana State University, MBA from Syracuse University, and MD degree from the Ural State Medical Academy, Russia. 

Dr Sarah Domone

Data and Insight Manager, ukactive 

Dr Sarah Domone is the Data and Insight Manager at the ukactive Research Institute. Her work is focussed on data collection, organisation and analysis processes across the full body of ukactive as well as supporting ukactive members in developing evidenced based strategic advice through data-driven projects on a consultancy basis.

Alongside her role at ukactive, Sarah currently holds a secondment position at Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine at Queen Mary's University where she provides biomechanical and data analysis expertise.

Jochen Michaelis

Country Head UK, eGym

With extensive industry experience in sales and management roles in the IT industry and supporting clients in their digital transformation, Jochen decided to bring his passion for fitness and digitial solutions together and joined eGym in April 2015 as Country Head in the UK.

eGym offers a holistic digital solution for gyms in providing an open ecosystem of software and smart, connected strength equipment- delivering measurable results for members and owners alike. 

American College of Sports Medicine Annual Conference, Boston, USA 2016

Six of the ukactive Research Institute’s abstract submissions were accepted by the American College of Sports Medicine and presented at their 2016 Annual Meeting in Boston, USA.

The research presented focused on three priority areas: children's inactivity, exercise referral, and engaging inactive populations - whether this be via a facility or placing activity professionals within GP surgeries. All of the studies aimed at developing a better understanding of the motivations for individuals to become active and determining which methods prove the most effective in engaging individuals from a wide demographic.

Dr Steven Mann, ukactive Research Institute Director said:

"The research projects which have been accepted by ACSM today have been the core work of the Research Institute since day one, which is why it's so pleasing that they've been accepted.”

"I'm confident that the Institute will now go to the next level, continuing to build a solid basis of academic credibility while providing the activity sector with an ally in the improvement of products and programmes."

ukactive Vanguard Focus Group and Dinner

Understanding the Efficacy Gap: The evidence for physical activity


On 11th February 2015 ukactive hosted a focus group and networking dinner in Central London titled ‘Evidencing our impact.’ The event was focussed on the increasing emphasis on research and evaluation throughout our sector in the past years, with specific attention on the ukactive Research Institutes’ controversial recent article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The event was attended by over 60 delegates consisting of medical professionals, academics, leisure operators and public bodies to discuss one of the key issues facing the sector at the current time.

The evaluation equation

The event was focused on the efficacy, effectiveness and evaluation of Sport and Exercise Medicine (SEM). Evaluation of physical activity programmes is a challenging issue, and the article adds fuel to the ‘evaluation debate’.

“Death by Effectiveness: Exercise as Medicine Caught in the Efficacy Trap!” challenges the assumptions made about the evidence of effectiveness of SEM.

The paper discusses the differentiation we must make between efficacy and effectiveness, suggesting the lines between the two have been blurred. Whilst the sector has had an abundance of evidence demonstrating the efficacy of SEM, there is a distinct lack of data with regards to its effectiveness.

This fact was highlighted by the 2014 UK government All Party Commission on Physical Activity Report which stated that it is currently almost impossible to tell which interventions have been successful and which have failed.

The report stresses that if high quality effectiveness research is not provided, SEM risks being side-lined. Health care professionals need strong evidence of effectiveness if they are to allocate funding for SEM in their programmes.


Dr Heather WardDr Heather Ward

Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London

Heather is a Research Fellow in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London.  She completed an MSc in Nutrition at the University of Toronto, examining socioeconomic and lifestyle factors in relation to obesity, and a PhD in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge which focused on dietary assessment methods in large studies.   Heather has recently conducted research into the relationship between obesity, smoking, and head and neck cancer, and the respective roles of physical activity and obesity in relation to premature mortality.

Professor John BuckleyProfessor John Buckley

University of Chester, Chair of the BASES Division of Physical Activity for Health (2003 – 2007)

For 21 years John was a managing partner in his own health, fitness and physiotherapy centre in Shrewsbury. This fitness club was mainly made up of members averaging an age of 65 years and many with Chronic Disease.

Throughout this time John also held academic posts in the Physio School at Keele University and now at the University of Chester. He has authored a number of text-books on exercise in health and has served as the President of the British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation. John is currently the Founding Chair of the International Council of Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Professor Michael A. WelschProfessor Michael A. Welsch

Professor of Sport and Exercise Sciences, Director of the Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research (ISPAR)

Originally from the Netherlands, Michael graduated from the University of North Texas; he then relocated to New Orleans where he developed an appreciation for the power of physical activity in the management of patients suffering from modern chronic diseases. He then embarked on a PhD program at the University of Florida, after which he joined the Department of Kinesiology at Louisiana State University, in Baton Rouge. 

His research focus has been to examine cardiovascular responses during and following a variety of internal and external stressors in an effort to identify individuals with pre-clinical markers of disease. Michael is currently the Director of the Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research at the University of Bedfordshire.

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