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Barriers and Facilitators of a Pedometer Intervention (UWALK)

Results from “Barriers and facilitators impacting the experiences of adults participating in an internet-facilitated pedometer intervention“.

McCormack, G.R., Mcfadden, K., McHugh, T.F., Spence, J.C., & Mummery, K.

Use of pedometer interventions to improve physical activity

Internet-facilitated pedometer interventions are a cost-effective method for monitoring physical activity through measurement of steps taken per day 1. Studies have found that pedometer interventions may also motivate participants to engage in more physical activity, which can improve their overall health 2. A recent qualitative study used telephone-administered semi-structured interviews, to examined the individual, social, and physical environment characteristics that impacted the physical activity behaviours of previously inactive adults who participated in UWALK; a 12-week, internet facilitated, community-based pedometer intervention. UWALK uses health promotion approaches to motivate individuals to increase physical activity through walking and achieving 10,000 steps/day. These approaches include self-monitoring their steps, individual and group challenges, as well as feedback for participants to aid them in increasing their step goals. The qualitative research design allowed for in-depth exploration of the facilitators and barriers of the neighbourhood environment experienced by the UWALK participants.

Experiences participating in an online pedometer intervention

Four main themes were determined from the participant interviews: (1) creating awareness of inactivity, (2) commitment to physical activity, (3) incorporating activity for transportation, and (4) importance of nature and changing scenery. Participants reported that wearing a pedometer to record daily step counts improved their awareness of time spent being sedentary. Many participants were motivated to develop strategies to reach their daily step count goals. Access to nature or scenic areas and active transportation were common factors in increasing participants physical activity. The participant’s experiences during the UWALK intervention suggest that a focus on providing strategies for overcoming barriers, exploring local environments, and methods to include active transportation into their daily lives can improve physical activity. Environmental based factors, including access to destinations and recreation facilities, interesting and attractive sites, natural scenery, and pathways can also enable greater levels of physical activity.


Suggested Citation: McCormack, G.R., Mcfadden, K., McHugh, T.F., Spence, J.C., & Mummery, K. (2019). Barriers and facilitators impacting the experiences of adults participating in an internet-facilitated pedometer intervention. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 45(2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.101549

Written by Emma Chong; Posted on August 5th, 2020

References

1. McCormack, G., Giles-Corti, B., & Milligan, R. (2006). Demographic and individual correlates of achieving 10,000 steps/day: Use of pedometers in a population-based study. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 17(1), 43–47.

2. Davies, C. A., Spence, J. C., Vandelanotte, C., Caperchione, C. M., & Mummery, W. K. (2012). Meta-analysis of internet-delivered interventions to increase physical activity levels. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 9, 52.

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