Older Women’s Experiences of a Community-Led Walking Programme Using Activity Trackers
2. Materials and Methods
2.3. Approach to Analysis/Theoretical Framework
3.1. Programme as a Source of Motivation
“I was surprised at, you know I would have thought that I was completing ten thousa-in excess of ten thousand steps every day but it just shows you that it, I wasn’t, so it, it’s a good motivator in that way […] and it would push you on.” (P1)
“Yeah just observing my own activity and ehm, becoming more self-aware of how active or inactive I am…I found myself pushing myself a little bit […] so it kind of made me more aware of building up my own stamina.” (P11)
“I was watching it and doing my steps and it did encourage me to walk further, park further away in the car park and you know it encouraged me to build up the steps and […] I’d do a bit of walking, bit of exercise to get to a certain figure and so it was very encouraging from that point of view.” (P4)
“In town, I always used to, I stopped using the escalator and I use the stairs. And I still use the stairs now in the shop, I don’t use the escalator anymore so, I thought if I only got just that one thing from it, it was probably worth doing.” (P4)
“Now that I’d know if I wasn’t after doing enough of steps, you know I’d try and do something else then to catch up on it, you know.” (P10)
“When I hadn’t that many steps done, I looked at it as, as something that made me kind of, encouraged me to do something which was for my good and for the good of everybody else as well like, you know? I mean if, if I’m healthy it keeps me out of hospital, leaves more, more space for other people you know that kind of thing, you know?” (P6)
“I find, I suppose as a matter of interest in the current lockdown, ehm and I’m in the vulnerable section ‘cause I’ve had [an illness] in the last 5 years. So, ahm, I find it’s very useful to keep motivated to do a bit of ehm you know, jogging on the spot or whatever because I’m indoors now for two weeks. So its particularly useful, yeah.” (P8).
“Do you know what? It didn’t make a difference, really, it didn’t. I didn’t miss it when I finished with it, do you know that kind of way?” (P3)
“I suppose I’m not sure I got really into it. Ahm, because I was fairly active anyway. So, it didn’t seem anything different.” (P5)
“I think you don’t need these things to eh, motivate you to get out to the beautiful country side, go for a walk with your dogs, or whoever and I’m all in favour of eh, you know, getting motivation to keep fit and all of that, but I am [70+] and I think that I, I change my way say maybe for a week or two and I say this is great, this is wonderful and then I say, throw it all up in the air.” (P7)
3.2. User Experience of the Technology
“No, I had no difficulties with it, […] I’m not a techy kind of a person, you know? But I, I was able to set the time on it when I went walking and I was able to look and see what my heart rate was and […] How many steps I had done and stuff, you know I didn’t have a problem with it.” (P11)
“Well the benefit was I used to think I was a very bad sleeper, but now I realise actually I get quite a lot.” (P2)
“I also put an alert on my [tracking device] to, you know it beeps three times if I’ve been sitting down for an hour. So, that makes me get up and do a few jumps or whatever you know? […] and I found that was a good part of it as well.” (P8)
“not techy” yet still finding the device useful and reporting a positive user experience. P1 sums this sentiment up: “[I’m] not big into gadgets and that, but I think that […] it is a worthwhile bit of equipment.” (P1)
“I didn’t really understand how to use it [the device] properly, I’d be able to count the steps and then the steps would […] be gone, and there was days I, I didn’t know how many steps I had, I was only judging it using an average.” (P4)
“What I did find about the exercise was it only records steps, you know. I was, we say now in aqua aerobics, I would be doing a lot of movement in that but you’re not recording anything in that kind of exercise, you know? It didn’t really sort of ehm, describe how, how much exercise I was doing.” (P4)
“No, I didn’t [buy an activity tracker] and actually I was tempted, I was saying to myself do you know now with this lockdown and everything […] you can only go out once a day and the rest of it, I would have gone on longer walks, but now I can just do […] the two kilometres and what have you. So, I’m kind of more restricted and I would have found it more interesting to see how much movement I was doing, you know?” (P3)
3.3. Views on Social Dimension of Programme
“I thought that we’d be walking as a group […], I was hoping like that, you, I’d be motivated because I’d have to start at a particular time and meet people and do it that way, you know? […] the [tracking device] itself didn’t do anything for me” (P5)
“No, I didn’t [compare steps] because we seemed to go in kind of individually, do you know what I mean?” (P3)
“So in the normal situation, I think, it, it would be quite interesting to be with a group because you’d be discussing your activity and you’d get ideas and tips from people, you know? And so, I think it, it would be very interesting to use as part of a group, but it was certainly very interesting to use it on an individual basis as well.” (P11)
“When she arrived in one morning and I think she’d already done about five or six thousand steps, oh God, put me to shame, so I wouldn’t be able to compete with them like.” (P2)
“It would be something I’d do for myself, I wouldn’t be competitive or anything like that.” (P3)
4.1. Strengths and Limitations
4.2. Future Directions
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
- How was your overall experience of the Step Up to Your Health?
- How was using an activity tracker?
- Was this your first time using an activity tracker? If no, please mention when you first used an activity tracker before.
- Did you require assistance to use the activity tracker?
- How often did you use the activity tracker in a typical day?
- Did you compare your steps with others in the group?
- Do you think it was helpful to use the device as part of a group initiative? Do you think this encouraged your participation?
- Do you intend to continue using an activity tracker after this initiative?
- Did you encounter any difficulties using the device? If yes, what difficulties did you encounter?
- What, if any, benefits did you find from using the activity tracker?
- From your experience, what were the best and worst parts of this walking initiative?
- At the moment how do you manage to keep active? For example do you walk for a certain time in the house? [This question relates to the national lockdown at the time due to COVID-19. Older adults were asked to limit their social contacts and exercise within 5 km of their home].
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O’Brien, J.; Mason, A.; Cassarino, M.; Chan, J.; Setti, A. Older Women’s Experiences of a Community-Led Walking Programme Using Activity Trackers. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 9818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189818
O’Brien J, Mason A, Cassarino M, Chan J, Setti A. Older Women’s Experiences of a Community-Led Walking Programme Using Activity Trackers. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(18):9818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189818Chicago/Turabian Style
O’Brien, Jessica, Amy Mason, Marica Cassarino, Jason Chan, and Annalisa Setti. 2021. "Older Women’s Experiences of a Community-Led Walking Programme Using Activity Trackers" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 18: 9818. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189818