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Article

Group Outdoor Health Walks Using Activity Trackers: Measurement and Implementation Insight from a Mixed Methods Feasibility Study

1
Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences, James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB14 8QH, UK
2
Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research-UFZ, Department of Ecosystem Services, Permoserstr 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany
3
German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e 04103 Leipzig, Germany
4
Alan Melrose Consultancy Ltd., 1 Balnastraid Cottages, Dinnet, Aboyne AB34 5NE, UK
5
Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, 1018 Fuller St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-1213, USA
6
European Centre for Environment and Human Health, University of Exeter Medical School, Truro TR1 3HD, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2515; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072515
Received: 4 March 2020 / Revised: 30 March 2020 / Accepted: 1 April 2020 / Published: 7 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Based Therapies and Human Health)
Outdoor walking groups are nature-based interventions (NBIs) that promote health and wellbeing by modifying individual behaviour. The challenges of such NBIs include the motivation of inactive adults to participate and measurement issues. This feasibility study investigates a 12-week group outdoor health walk (GOHW) incorporating activity trackers and use of a holistic health and wellbeing measure, the Self-sasessment of Change (SAC) scale. A mixed methods design explored participant recruitment and retention, programme delivery, and measures of physical activity and health and wellbeing. Walker data included: pre-post questionnaires, daily step counts, and interviews. Programme delivery information included: weekly checklists, staff reflections, stakeholder meeting minutes, and a report. Thirteen adults (age 63–81, 76% female) joined and completed the activity tracker GOHW. Activity trackers motivated walkers to join and be more active but complicated programme delivery. Activity trackers allowed the quantification of physical activity and the SAC health and wellbeing measure was easy to use. By week 12, all participants met national physical activity guidelines. Clinically relevant changes on the SAC scale included: sleeping well, experiencing vibrant senses, and feeling energised, focused, joyful, calm and whole. Results illustrate the feasibility of using activity trackers to motivate engagement in and provide a measure of physical activity from GOHWs. The SAC scale offers a promising measure for nature–health research. A conceptual model is provided for the development of future large-scale studies of NBIs, such as group outdoor health walks. View Full-Text
Keywords: biopsychosocial–spiritual health; green exercise; health promotion; implementation research; nature-based interventions; nature-based therapies; nearby nature; older adults; physical activity; wellbeing biopsychosocial–spiritual health; green exercise; health promotion; implementation research; nature-based interventions; nature-based therapies; nearby nature; older adults; physical activity; wellbeing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Irvine, K.N.; Marselle, M.R.; Melrose, A.; Warber, S.L. Group Outdoor Health Walks Using Activity Trackers: Measurement and Implementation Insight from a Mixed Methods Feasibility Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2515. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072515

AMA Style

Irvine KN, Marselle MR, Melrose A, Warber SL. Group Outdoor Health Walks Using Activity Trackers: Measurement and Implementation Insight from a Mixed Methods Feasibility Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(7):2515. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072515

Chicago/Turabian Style

Irvine, Katherine N., Melissa R. Marselle, Alan Melrose, and Sara L. Warber. 2020. "Group Outdoor Health Walks Using Activity Trackers: Measurement and Implementation Insight from a Mixed Methods Feasibility Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, no. 7: 2515. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph17072515

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