With the majority of schools currently closed due to the Coronavirus outbreak, Moki users are swapping the classroom for the home. ‘Class’ sizes have decreased from 30+ children to families of four or five – and this means comparing activity levels is suddenly a bit more complicated! We recently launched the Moki Grade as a way of quantifying the performance of whole classes of children. Here, we’ll look at this feature in some more detail, and show how Moki Grades are still relevant in the home environment.
How does The Moki Grade work?
Making sense of physical activity data is potentially complex. Moki will measure your physical activity – but how much activity is considered high, low or in-between? To quantify this, we developed the “Moki Grade”. But, before we show you how it works, we need to explain a few things about physical activity.
What is Physical Activity?
Physical activity is formally described as any movement that increases energy expenditure above resting levels. This could be anything from slow movements through to bursts of high-intensity sport, and all movement counts. When Moki measures your ‘steps’, this gives you an indication of your overall physical activity. Total steps are very important for energy balance and obesity prevention.
In addition to overall measures like steps, there are specific subcomponents of physical activity which are uniquely important for health. A key subcomponent is called ‘Moderate to Vigorous intensity Physical Activity’ or MVPA. This is any physical activity that involves moving around more rapidly – and that raises your heart rate and/or makes you breathe faster (e.g., brisk walking or running). This type of activity is important for cardiorespiratory fitness and it will help lower your risk of major illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
The Moki Grade - Children
The Moki app provides data on steps and MVPA separately, but we are often asked whether there is a ‘global’ measure of physical activity that cuts across steps and MVPA. This is why we developed the Moki Grade.
The Moki Grade uses steps and MVPA to build a combined score for children which is then assigned a grade (A-E). The Moki Grade was originally developed for in-school physical activity, using data from the Active Schools Project. It is weighted 50:50 for steps and MVPA. You can read about the Moki in-school grade here.
The Moki grade has now been adapted for a whole day. Over a whole day, a child that does just over 60 minutes MVPA a day (the Government recommended minimum) and 12,000 steps a day would get a Moki Grade B.
The Moki Grade - Families
The Moki Grade was not originally designed for adults, so it is difficult to make age distinctions between users. The physical activity recommendations for adults are very different to children (150 minutes of MVPA a week). Our advice? You can still use the Moki Grade as a family, with adults and children tracking their collective progress, but your grade will assume you are all children - so grown ups might have to work a bit harder to score well!
Prof. Dylan Thompson