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We are conducting this study to test a home fitness programme for children where our exercise instructors help young people over an internet link. We aim to understand how exercise helps young people stay healthy.

Ben Weedon on an exercise bike

Study Background

Adults with risk factors like high blood pressure or cholesterol are more likely to develop heart disease but we know very little about what causes the risk factors themselves. Although clear risk factors don’t usually emerge before middle age, our hearts and blood vessels begin to change in childhood in ways that may eventually lead to illness. We need to find ways to stop this process early. Understanding how exercise benefits the body when we are young will be an important element of this. The British Heart Foundation considers this to be important, too, and has funded our study to investigate.

The current COVID-19 pandemic has provided us with a great opportunity to develop new and engaging ways to deliver exercise. We have therefore set up an exciting, remote exercise programme that enables children to participate in fun, group-based scientific research, which can be performed at home. If this is deemed successful, we will implement this in our larger OxSOCRATES study. We would very much appreciate your help to do so.

Study Recruitment

OxSOCRATES REP will recruit children aged 12-18 years old.

Remote Exercise Programme

All candidates will attend our laboratory at Oxford Brookes University to establish their fitness using gold-standard fitness tests. During this visit, participants will be provided with all necessary equipment for the home sessions. Participants will then perform some home fitness tests over video link with our instructors. Once complete, they will progress to our online 4-week fitness programme. The exercise programme requires limited space, making it possible to do this at home. Each child will be performing personalised exercise sessions, tailored to their fitness. All fitness tests, including the laboratory tests, will be repeated at the end of the 4-weeks to see if their fitness has improved.

If you are interested in this study, further details are provided in the study information sheet.


Dr Alexander Jones (PI), Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford

Professor Helen Dawes, Oxford Brookes University

Dr Benjamin Weedon, Oxford Brookes University

Mr Samuel Burden, Oxford Brookes University


Research Funding

This study is supported with funding from the British Heart Foundation.

Study Approval

This study has been approved by the Oxford Research Ethics Committee.

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