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Open AccessArticle

Development of the Digital Assessment of Precise Physical Activity (DAPPA) Tool for Older Adults

Centre for Clinical and Community Applications of Health Psychology (CCCAHP), University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
Centre for Motivation and Health Behaviour Change, Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
Physical Activity for Health Research Centre (PAHRC), Institute for Sport, Physical Education and Health Sciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH8 8AQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 7949;
Received: 29 September 2020 / Revised: 26 October 2020 / Accepted: 27 October 2020 / Published: 29 October 2020
Physical activity (PA) is central to maintaining health and wellbeing as we age. Valid, reliable measurement tools are vital for understanding, and evaluating PA. There are limited options for comprehensively, accurately and affordably measuring older adults’ PA at scale at present. We aimed to develop a digital PA measurement tool specifically for adults aged 65+ using a person-based approach. We collated evidence from target users, field experts and the relevant literature to learn how older adults comprehend PA and would accept a digital tool. Findings suggest that older adults’ PA is often integrated into their daily life activities and that commonly applied terminology (e.g., moderate and vigorous) can be difficult to interpret. We also found that there is increasing familiarity with digital platforms amongst older adults, and that technological simplicity is valued. These findings informed the development of a digital tool that asks users to report their activities across key PA domains and dimensions from the previous 7-days. Users found the tool easy to navigate and comprehensive in terms of activity reporting. However, real-world usability testing revealed that users struggled with seven-day recall. Further work will address the identified issues, including creating a single-day reporting option, before commencing work to validate this new tool. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical activity; older adults; measurement; digital health physical activity; older adults; measurement; digital health
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Essery, R.; Denison-Day, J.; Grey, E.; Priestley, E.; Bradbury, K.; Mutrie, N.; Western, M.J. Development of the Digital Assessment of Precise Physical Activity (DAPPA) Tool for Older Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 7949.

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