It is argued that a gap exists between research evidence and “real-world” physical activity (PA) intervention practice. One potential way to aid the translatability of evidence in this field is for researchers to work actively with the public health practitioners and organisations that run PA interventions to engage in co-creative research. This paper reports the process and strategies used to underpin research co-creation during a recent qualitative PA intervention study, and the outcomes of the co-creative approach from the perspective of the public health organisation involved in the research in terms of providing them with translatable evidence. A range of strategies were reported to facilitate co-creation in the study, such as engaging the public health organisation in the identification of the research question and development of the research protocol and involving them in participant recruitment. The co-creative research approach resulted in timely, relevant, and understandable research evidence for the organisation, which was translatable to their real-world PA intervention practice. The evidence provided them with clear actions and information to plan their future work and objectives. This paper demonstrates how a co-creative research approach can potentially help to close the evidence-practice gap in the PA intervention field.


physical activity, older adults, generic qualitative research, research co-creation, partnership research, evidence translation, knowledge translation, stakeholder engagement

Author Bio(s)

Andrew Powell, MSc., is Clinical Research Co-ordinator in the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences at Bournemouth University. The main purpose of his role is to create a seamless link between academics at Bournemouth University and local healthcare professionals, to enable high quality, pragmatic, inter-professional and inter-disciplinary health research to take place. His background lies in both Psychology and Sports Science, and his interest in scholarly research is focused on the factors that influence older adults’ physical activity behaviour. Please direct correspondence to powella@bournemouth.ac.uk.

Charlotte Coward, BSc., is Deputy Chief Executive of Active Dorset, one of 43 ‘Active Partnership’ organisations across England that work collaboratively to create the conditions for an active nation and use the power of sport and physical activity to transform lives. Her role is to build relationships with key stakeholders to embed a whole system approach to address physical inactivity in Dorset and develop a county-wide physical activity strategy.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.