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Older Women’s experiences of a community-led walking programme using activity trackers

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posted on 2021-10-04, 08:39 authored by Jessica O'Brien, Amy Mason, Marica Cassarino, Jason Chan, Annalisa Setti
Promoting physical activity amongst older adults represents a major public health goal and community-led exercise programmes present benefits in promoting active lifestyles. Commercial activity trackers potentially encourage positive behaviour change with respect to physical exercise. This qualitative study investigated the experiences and attitudes of older adults following a 6- week community-led walking programme utilising activity trackers. Eleven community-dwelling older women aged 60+ completed individual phone interviews following their involvement in the programme. The programme, codesigned with a group of senior citizens, equipped participants with wrist-worn activity trackers and included biweekly check-in sessions with a researcher to monitor progress and support motivation. Interviews explored participants’ experiences of the programme and of using activity trackers for the purpose of becoming more active. A thematic analysis produced three main themes: ‘programme as a source of motivation’, ‘user experiences with the technology’ and ‘views on social dimension of the programme’. Overall, participants highlighted the self-monitoring function of activity trackers as most beneficial for their exercise levels. This study provides insights into the personal and social factors perceived by older adults in relation to being part of a community-led programme using activity trackers. It highlights the role of the programme and trackers in maintaining motivation to stay active.

Funding

Using the Cloud to Streamline the Development of Mobile Phone Apps

Innovate UK

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History

Publication

International Journal Environmental Research and Public Health;18, 9818

Publisher

MDPI

Note

peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

IRC

Language

English

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