More women* across the nation are set to benefit from being physically active during and after pregnancy, as ukactive and Sport England announce the results of the This Mum Moves pilot project and plans for its expansion.

This Mum Moves was created to support women to continue to enjoy and benefit from an active lifestyle ‘during pregnancy and after childbirth’ by enabling and upskilling healthcare professionals to confidently promote and provide advice around physical activity within routine pre and postnatal care.

ukactive launched the project in 2018 alongside several national partners, supported by National Lottery funding and Sport England.

During a three-year pilot, This Mum Moves worked with NHS trusts in Sheffield, Sunderland, Plymouth, Cambridge, and Bexley, to deliver training to more than 400 healthcare professionals.

An independent evaluation by the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research at Canterbury Christ Church University showed that following This Mum Moves training:

  • 85% of healthcare professionals were ‘committed’ or ‘highly committed’ to apply what they had learned into practice.
  • 81% felt confident to start a conversation with women about physical activity during and after pregnancy.
  • 76% of healthcare professionals ‘often’ or ‘always’ provided physical activity advice to women during and after pregnancy.
  • 97% of healthcare professionals said they would recommend This Mum Moves training to a friend or colleague.

Following the piloting of training materials and resources, ukactive and Sport England have established a sustainable model which now will be taken forward by project partners, The Active Pregnancy Foundation and the Institute of Health Visiting.

The offer will also be expanded to wider workforces, including fitness professionals, recognising that conversations by healthcare professionals have the potential to open doors to discussion across organisations, and in consultation with other professionals.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said:

“We want to ensure every pregnant woman and new mum has access to support about being active during this time, so it’s great to know This Mum Moves is helping healthcare and fitness professionals to deliver it.

“Our findings show This Mum Moves is helping to build the knowledge, confidence and motivation for healthcare professionals to have these conversations with women, so that more mums feel supported to be active for the health of mother and child.

“We are excited to see the Active Pregnancy Foundation and Institute of Health Visiting grow this model and reach more communities.”

Frances Drury, Head of Activation at Sport England, said:

“During a period of enormous change – like pregnancy and becoming a new mother – being active is very important, as it boosts mental and physical health at a time that can be very challenging.

“Physical activity can be an effective means of reducing rates of postnatal depression among other conditions.  But we know that 74% of pregnant women and new mums have safety concerns in relation to being active – and 64% would be encouraged to continue or to take up activity if they were given guidance or encouragement by a healthcare professional.

“We are delighted that This Mum Moves is expanding to enable more healthcare professionals to support more pregnant women and new mothers.”

Dr Marlize De Vivo, CEO of The Active Pregnancy Foundation, said:

“Physical activity is not simply a tick box at the antenatal booking appointment, it is a means to an end, with the potential to address many pregnancy problems including gestational diabetes, excessive weight gain, high blood pressure problems, and postnatal depression, to name but a few.

“This will not only reduce costs and increase capacity within the maternal care system but also improve women’s quality of life.

“While healthcare professionals have a crucial role in the dissemination of information, we also know that engaging women in active lifestyles requires systemic change and interprofessional collaboration.

“We are therefore excited to be involved in upscaling this project and rolling the offer out to other workforces, including allied and fitness professionals.”

Victoria Gilroy, Head of Projects and Evaluation at the Institute of Health Visiting, said:

“Physical activity has significant benefits for women and their families’ quality of life. Working together to raise awareness in the wider workforce, with those who come into contact with pregnant women and new mothers, is key to ensuring that consistent and timely advice can be offered at all contacts.

“We are delighted to be able to continue developing this important work in partnership with The Active Pregnancy Foundation.”

To find out more about This Mum Moves programme click here.

*Where referring to ‘women’ and ‘mothers’, this should be taken to include people who do not identify as women but who are pregnant.

Upcoming Training Dates:

  • 24 May 2022, 09:00-13:00
  • 21 September 2022, 09:00-13:00
  • Cost: £150.00 (no VAT)

This Mum Moves (TMM) Ambassador Training is a half-day training event that will equip professionals with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to discuss physical activity during pregnancy and after childbirth.

The training is delivered live via Zoom and will provide learners with access to a digital toolkit to support conversations and further learning. It will also provide participants with the resources to facilitate the promotion of physical activity, including cascade and promotional materials. This training has been accredited by the CPD Standards Office and equates to 3 CPD points.

A new resource that will improve conversations about physical activity between patients and healthcare professionals has been launched.

The new digital Moving Medicine tool will help healthcare professionals advise patients on how physical activity can help to manage their conditions, prevent disease and aid recovery.

It is produced by the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine (FSEM) in partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and Sport England with support from National Lottery funding.

Currently one in four of the population in England does less than 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week and are classified as inactive.

Physical inactivity is in the top 10 greatest causes of ill health nationally, with negative impacts on health, wellbeing, social and economic outcomes for individuals and communities.

The tool focuses on helping to address the most common long term health conditions affecting the population, such as cancer, depression, musculoskeletal pain and type 2 diabetes.

Developed in consultation with over 300 healthcare professionals and patients and using evidence-based step-by-step guidance, Moving Medicine is designed to provide healthcare professionals with the latest evidence to address this knowledge and skills gap in the NHS and support healthier outcomes for patients as a result.

The research study is exploring healthcare professionals’ views and experiences of supporting adolescent girls around eating and physical activity in the postnatal period – and they feel that it is crucial that the health visitor view is included in the research.

The only criteria for involvement is that the health visitor has had contact with a young mum (aged under 20 years) in the last 12 months.

The research will involve a 20/30 minute (max) telephone interview which could either be done during the day or evening.

If you are interested and able to participate, please email: [email protected] or [email protected] or call 020 7040 5729 (Grace) or 0207 040 5468 (Ellinor).

iHV welcomes the new One You physical activity campaign from Public Health England (PHE).

PHE’s new One You physical activity campaign is encouraging adults to build 10 minutes continuous brisk walking into their day as a simple way to improve their health – by using the ‘Active 10’ app.

According to evidence reviewed by PHE, over 6.3 million adults aged 40 to 60 do not achieve 10 minutes of continuous brisk walking over the course of a month and are missing out on important health benefits.

The ‘Active 10’ app has been developed to show how much brisk walking a person is doing each day and how to incorporate more of it into their lifestyles.

Taking at least 1 brisk 10 minute walk a day has been shown to reduce the risk of early death by 15%. A 10 minute walk can contribute to meeting the CMO’s physical activity guidance of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise each week. This can lead to health benefits including a lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (by 40%), cardiovascular disease (by 35%), dementia (by 30%) and some cancers (by 20%).

The Active 10 app was developed by PHE in collaboration with The University of Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam University and the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Download the free ‘Active 10’ app which shows how much brisk walking you are currently doing and provides tips and encouragement on how to fit ten minute bursts of brisk walking into your daily routine.

These infographics from Public Health England (PHE) outline the duration, frequency and type of physical activity required to achieve general health benefits for different age ranges.

The infographics relate to the report by the UK’s 4 Chief Medical Officers for the NHS, local authorities and a range of other organisations designing services to promote physical activity.

Infographics include:

  • Physical activity for pregnant women: infographic and guidance
  • Physical activity benefits for babies and children (birth-5 years old): infographic
  • Physical activity for children and young people (5-18 years old): infographic
  • Physical activity benefits infographic for adults and older people

Department of Health (DH) infographic explaining the physical activity required to achieve general health benefits from birth to age 5.


DH Physical activity infographic 0-5

DH Physical activity infographic 0-5

The British Heart Foundation National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (BHFNC) has published five new fact sheets exploring physical activity in the early years.

They each summarise the evidence on a different topic relating to physical activity for children under five.

They are designed for early years practitioners to provide evidence-based information on how much physical activity young children should be doing, why it’s important and how to get children active.

All fact sheets are available to download free of charge from their website.

Please see below for a brief summary of the fact sheets.

See also recent Voices blog by BHFNC -Helping children move and play

Early years physical activity guidelines

Being active helps children under five build and maintain a good level of health. Three physical activity guidelines exist in the UK for the early years. This fact sheet introduces the guidelines and explains what type of activities children can do to achieve each guideline.

Top tips for getting under fives active

In early years settings, there are many simple things you can do to incorporate physical activity throughout the day. This fact sheet provides simple ideas for encouraging activity within your setting including tips for playing outside, encouraging active play and getting parents involved

The importance of physical activity in the early years

The first five years of life are fundamental to children’s growth and development. A number of physical and psychological developments occur in young children, which lay the foundation for future health and wellbeing. During the early years, physical activity impacts on children’s health and plays a key role in their development.

This one-page fact sheet highlights the key areas of a young child’s development supported by physical activity.

Sedentary behaviour in the early years

For children under five sedentary behaviour can include activities like spending time strapped into baby equipment, watching television, playing games while sitting down or travelling in a car, bus or train.

This fact sheet looks at why minimising sedentary behaviour is so important for young children’s health and offers simple solutions for reducing it.

Current levels of physical activity in the early years

The latest facts and figures from the latest research on how active young children are. It looks at the national health surveys for the home countries to give a picture of activity levels across the UK.


A new infographic regarding the UK Chief Medical Officers’ (CMO) physical activity guidelines for children and young people aged 5-18 has been created.

CYPIn 2011, the joint UK CMOs’ physical activity guidelines advice for children and young people aged 5-18 is to engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity each week and to reduce sedentary behaviour.  Yet, we know that most children are not achieving the recommended amount of physical activity. The Health Survey England 2012 reported only 21% of boys and 16% of girls achieve the recommended 60 minutes a day. The proportion of girls meeting the guidelines decreases from 23% in those aged five to seven years, and to only 8% when aged 13-15 years.

All who have a role in supporting the health and wellbeing of children should know how much exercise they should be doing. This infographic is a great resource that can help everyone support the physical activity needs of children and young people.