"Through the photos and conversations, we have been able to learn about the participants' perspectives on exercise and being active. The results of the project help us to design future measures to promote physical activity in a more target group-oriented way. We now know much better what is important for them - and what is not," explains project leader Dr. Heide Busse, head of the Applied Health Intervention Research Unit at the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS.
Being physically active enough has many benefits for health and well-being. With increasing age, fewer and fewer children and adolescents, especially female adolescents, are sufficiently active. Especially for young women, there are currently no effective and sustainable programs that have been able to achieve long-term increases in physical activity. In order to develop tailored and target-group-specific measures for this age group, it is crucial to get in touch with them and learn about their experiences, thoughts and wishes.
Young women's perspective central
The My-Voice project took up precisely this point. Researchers entered into direct contact with female young people to talk to them about the topic of 'movement and being active' and to get to know their perspective and point of view. Using the Photovoice method, a creative method for district-based participatory research, researchers set out together with female youth to find out what promotes or hinders movement in everyday life and in their own environment.
A total of 11 young women from Osterholz, aged 15-18, participated in the My-Voice research project. At the beginning of the project, the participants received tips from a photographer on how to create photos as part of a photo workshop. Afterwards, the photo phase started, in which the young women were encouraged to take photos of their everyday life, which for them have to do with the topic 'movement and being active'. Discussions were then held with all participants about the photos and the theme. The participants could decide whether they wanted to participate in the conversations alone or together with a friend participating in the project. The research team then met with the participants in a final workshop to discuss the results and plan the photo exhibition.
"The participants wanted to be able to show their photos and perspective on the topic to others at Weserpark Bremen," Busse says. She adds, "I am incredibly pleased that Weserpark Bremen immediately agreed and that the photo exhibition will now be on display there for the public until the end of June 2022. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all participants, cooperation partners and Weserpark Bremen."
The My-Voice project began in January 2021 and was conducted by the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology - BIPS under the leadership of Dr. Heide Busse and Dr. Frauke Wichmann. The project was funded by the Leibniz ScienceCampus Digital Public Health Bremen and was a research project of the Leibniz Living Lab - Gesundheitswerkstatt Osterholz. The project cooperated with the Landesvereinigung für Gesundheit und Akademie für Sozialmedizin Niedersachsen e. V. and the Landesvereinigung für Gesundheit Bremen e. V..