Making sense of physical activity data is potentially complex. Moki will give quantitative data on physical activity – but just how much activity would be considered high, low or in-between? This is why we developed the Moki Grade – to help teachers, parents and children quickly and easily understand the data that Moki provides.
All Movement Counts
Physical activity is formally described as any movement that increases energy expenditure above resting levels. This could be anything from slowly moving around the classroom through to bursts of high-intensity PE. All movement counts. We can determine overall physical activity by capturing data on total movements using measures such as steps. This overall measurement will be particularly important for understanding physical activity for energy balance and obesity prevention.
The UK Government advice on the other hand focuses specifically on Moderate to Vigorous intensity Physical Activity (MVPA). This is any physical activity that involves moving around more rapidly – and it will raise your heart rate and make you breathe faster (e.g., brisk walking or running). This type of activity is particularly important for cardiorespiratory fitness. The Government guidelines recommend that children should get 30 minutes of daily MVPA in school and 30 minutes outside school.
So, there are at least two different physical activity metrics that need to be considered – one that looks at total movement (steps) and another which looks at activity above a specific intensity threshold (MVPA). You can read more about the multidimensional nature of physical activity if you'd like to dig into it a bit more.
You can of course look at steps and MVPA separately within the Moki app and reports, but we are often asked whether there is a ‘global’ measure of physical activity that incorporates both steps and MVPA. This is why we developed the Moki Grade.
The Moki Grade
The Moki grade takes a pupil’s total movement (steps) as well as physical activity over a moderate intensity (MVPA) to build a combined score which is then assigned a grade (A-E).
It is weighted 50:50 for steps and MVPA and it is benchmarked against data from across the Moki database. So, it is a way to compare any Moki Player's data to typical data from a large sample.
Just to give you some examples, a Player who does an average of 6700 steps a day and 29 minutes of MVPA would be in the 60-79th percentile (for step:MVPA) and would therefore get a B grade. A Player who does only 4000 daily steps and 15 minutes of MVPA would get an E grade.
The Moki Grade can be applied to activity data from just the school day or a whole day by changing a setting in the Moki app. Over a whole day, a Player 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.
What about the Grown ups?
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 school, class or family with adults and children tracking their collective progress, but Moki will assume that all Players are children - so grown ups might have to work a bit harder to keep up!