Working Group Physical Activity Research


The overall goal of the AG PAR is to advance the research of the BIPS in the field of physical activity promotion with a focus on children and adolescents. Based on the National Recommendations for Physical Activity and the Promotion of Physical Activity, and primarily, but not exclusively, building on the scientific basis of the ACTIPROS project, the working group PAR coordinates the development, implementation and evaluation of interventions for the promotion of physical activity in childhood and adolescence. The working group is headed by PD Dr. Mirko Brandes.

Internationally, the working group PAR networks BIPS with leading persons and institutions in the field of physical activity promotion in children and adolescents, with the aim of conducting joint research activities with international partners. Furthermore, the working group PAR provides topic-specific proposals in calls by funding institutions and actively participates in research proposals (with or without calls).

At the regional level, the working group PAR also cooperates with research partners in the field of physical activity and health, e.g. with the Leibniz-Science Campus Digital Public Health. On the methodological side, there is cooperation with the Emmy Noether junior research group Beyond Prediction - Statistical Inference with Machine Learning led by Marvin Wright.

In addition to its research activities, the working group PAR is responsible for the transfer into practice (e.g. in the preparation and commenting of movement recommendations), for studies on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on physical activity and health, and pursues a close direct relationship to practice (e.g. through the Leibniz Living Lab).


The AG PAR is divided into the sections "Interventions" and "Methods". Both sections are interlinked on the project level.

Section "Interventions”

The main focus of the section Interventions is the development, implementation and evaluation of physical activity interventions specialised on children and adolescents. Interventions with other target groups are additionally processed. The working group works closely with international cooperation partners. The working group advises political decision-makers, educational institutions and other partners in practice on the implementation of measures to promote physical activity. When planning and carrying out evaluations of physical activity, the section integrates state-of-the-art methods by linking them to the section Methods (e.g. accelerometry, machine learning).

Section Methods

The primary goal of the section Methods is the application and further development of objective assessments for monitoring physical activity, in particular accelerometry, and the quantification of the measured data. The section adapts existing evaluation algorithms, e.g. the R-package GGIR, to the needs of evaluations. Furthermore, the section gives recommendations for data acquisition and processing, statistical analysis, modeling and visualization of physical activity data (e.g. CoDA, estimation of intervention effects).

New, independent evaluation procedures are being developed, and the necessary data sets are generated within the section Interventions or are collected through own (validation) studies.

Selected Publications

    Position papers

  • Freiberg A, Brandes M, Schubert M, Romero Starke K, Hegewald J, Seidler A. Einfluss von sozialer Isolation auf Herz-Kreislauf-Risikofaktoren und -erkrankungen. 2020.
  • Other presentations/speechs (invited)

  • Brandes M. Fit bis ins hohe Alter - Bewegung ist die beste Medizin. 14. Ernährungsmedizinisches Forum, 21. August 2019, Bremen.
  • Articles with peer review

  • Finger JD, Banzer W, Baumeister S, Brandes M, Bös K, Gabrys L, Gößwald A, Härtel S, Kluttig A, Kuhnert R, Leitzmann MF, Löllgen HH, Manz K, Mensink GBM, Niessner C, Schaffrath Rosario A, Kurth B-M. Referenzwerte für die kardiorespiratorische Fitness der allgemeinen Bevölkerung: Die Studie zur Gesundheit Erwachsener in Deutschland (DEGS1) 2008-2011. Das Gesundheitswesen. 2021;83(2):114-121.
  • Leitzmann M, Gastell S, Hillreiner A, Herbolsheimer F, Baumeister S, Bohn B, Brandes M, Greiser KH, Jaeschke L, Jochem C, Kluttig A, Krist L, Michels K, Pischon T, Schmermund A, Sprengeler O, Zschocke J, Ahrens W, Baurecht H, Becher H, Berger K, Brenner H, Castell S, Fischer B, Franzke C-W, Fricke J, Hoffmann W, Holleczek B, Kaaks R, Kalinowski S, Keil T, Kemmling Y, Kuß O, Legath N, Lieb W, Linseisen J, Löffler M, Mikolajczyk R, Obi N, Peters A, Ratjen I, Schikowski T, Schulze MB, Stang A, Thierry S, Völzke H, Wirkner K, Steindorf K. Körperliche Aktivität in der NAKO Gesundheitsstudie: Erste Ergebnisse des multimodalen Erhebungskonzepts. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz. 2020;63(3):301-311.
  • Brandes B, Busse H, Sell L, Christianson L, Brandes M. Protocol for a scoping review to identify and map intervention components of existing school-based interventions for the promotion of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness among school children aged 6–10 years old. BMJ Open. 2020;10:e037848.
  • Kluttig A, Zschocke J, Haerting J, Schmermund A, Gastell S, Steindorf K, Herbolsheimer F, Hillreiner A, Jochem C, Baumeister S, Sprengeler O, Pischon T, Jaeschke L, Michels K, Krist L, Greiser KH, Schmidt G, Lieb W, Waniek S, Becher H, Jagodzinski A, Schipf S, Völzke H, Ahrens W, Günther K, Castell S, Kemmling Y, Legath N, Berger K, Keil T, Fricke J, Schulze MB, Löffler M, Wirkner K, Kuß O, Schikowski T, Kalinowski S, Stang A, Kaaks R, Damms-Machado A, Hoffmeister M, Weber B, Franzke C-W, Thierry S, Peters A, Kartschmit N, Mikolajczyk R, Fischer B, Leitzmann M, Brandes M. Messung der körperlichen Fitness in der NAKO Gesundheitsstudie - Methoden, Qualitätssicherung und erste deskriptive Ergebnisse. Bundesgesundheitsblatt, Gesundheitsforschung, Gesundheitsschutz. 2020;63(3):312-321.
  • Brandes B, Buck C, Wright MN, Pischke CR, Brandes M. Impact of "JolinchenKids - fit and healthy in daycare" on children's objectively measured physical activity: A cluster-controlled study. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 2020;17(10):1025-1033.
  • Mehren A, Özyurt J, Lam AP, Brandes M, Müller HH, Thiel CM, Philipsen A. Acute effects of aerobic exercise on executive function and attention in adult patients with ADHD. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2019;10:132.
  • Steenbock B, Wright MN, Wirsik N, Brandes M. Accelerometry-based prediction of energy expenditure in preschoolers. Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour. 2019;2(2):94-102.
  • Sprengeler O, Buck C, Hebestreit A, Wirsik N, Ahrens W. Sports contribute to total moderate to vigorous physical activity in school children. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2019;51(8):1653-1661.
  • Brandes M, Wirsik N, Niehoff H, Heimsoth J, Möhring B. Impact of a tailored activity counselling intervention during inpatient rehabilitation after knee and hip arthroplasty - An explorative RCT. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2018;19:209.
  • Brandes M, Steenbock B, Wirsik N. Energy cost of common physical activities in preschoolers. Journal of Physical Activity & Health. 2018;15(4):233-238.
  • Sliepen M, Brandes M, Rosenbaum D. Current physical activity monitors in hip and knee osteoarthritis. Arthritis Care & Research. 2017;69(10):1460-1466.
  • Wirsik N, Sprengeler O, Brandes M, Pohlabeln H. Identifikation typischer Bewegungskontexte von Kindern als Ansatzpunkt für die Bewegungsförderung - Vorstellung eines BMG-geförderten Projekts. Bewegungstherapie und Gesundheitssport. 2017;33(3):96-100.
  • Foraita R, Brandes M, Günther F, Bammann K, Pigeot I, Ahrens W. The influence of aerobic fitness on obesity and its parent-offspring correlations in a cross-sectional study among German families. BMC Public Health. 2015;15:638.
  • Brandes M, van Hees V, Hannöver V, Brage S. Estimating energy expenditure from raw accelerometry in three types of locomotion. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2012;44(11):2235-2242.
  • Book chapters

  • Brandes M, Vincente-Rodriguez G, Suling M, Pitsiladis Y, Bammann K. Physical fitness. In: Bammann K, Lissner L, Pigeot I, Ahrens W, editors. Instruments for health surveys in children and adolescents. Cham: Springer International Publishing. 2019. S. 277-289.
  • Brandes M, Pischke CR, Steenbock B, Zeeb H, Pigeot I. Fitness-Tracker - Zukunft für Prävention? In: Rebscher H, Kaufmann S, editors. Präventionsmanagement in Gesundheitssystemen - Gesundheitsförderung, Vorsorge, Früherkennung: Das medizinische und ökonomische Spannungsfeld von Evidenz, Nutzen und Risiken. Heidelberg: medhochzwei. 2016. S. 409-425.
  • Presentations at scientific meetings/conferences

  • Steenbock B, Wirsik N, Brandes M. Calibration of the GENEActiv wrist- and hip-worn accelerometer for prediction of activity-related energy expenditure in preschoolers. 5th International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM), 21-23 June 2017, Bethesda, USA.
  • Wirsik N, Steenbock B, Brandes M. Comparability of different accelerometers and sites for activity-related energy expenditure prediction in preschool children. 5th International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity and Movement (ICAMPAM), 21-23 June 2017, Bethesda, USA.
  • Posters at scientific meetings/conferences

  • Brandes M, Wirsik N, Steenbock B. Energy costs of physical activities in preschoolers. 16th Annual Meeting of the International Society of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity (ISBNPA), 7-10 June 2017, Victoria, Canada.

Current Projects

Only currently running projects or those where publications are still in preparation or those that ended less than a year ago will be shown. The entries are sorted alphabetically.

Mirko Brandes
Working Group coordination

PD Dr. rer. medic.
Mirko Brandes

Tel: +49 (0)421 218-56905