The Moki Grade
Making sense of physical activity data is potentially complex. Moki will give quantitative data on in-school physical activity – but how much in-school activity would be considered high, low or in-between? This is why we developed the Moki Grade – to help busy teachers, schools and pupils easily understand the quantitative measurements provided by Moki.
What is Physical Activity?
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 here. 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 cuts across 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 the children in your class or school to typical data from a large sample of children assessed across multiple primary schools in the UK.
Just to give you some examples, a pupil 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 pupil who does only 4000 daily steps and 15 minutes of MVPA would get an E grade.
The Moki Grade is based on benchmarking data where the school day was approximately 6 hours long. If your school day is much longer or shorter than this, then the in-school grade will be affected by the variation in time in which physical activity has been accumulated.
If children have worn the bands outside school, then we do not recommend that you use the Moki Grade. The benchmarking data are for in-school physical activity only and so it should only really be used in this context.