Co-creating a tailored public health intervention to reduce older adults’ sedentary behaviour

Calum Leask, Marlene Sandlund, Dawn A. Skelton, Sebastien F.M. Chastin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
377 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: The increasing health care costs associated with an ageing population and chronic disease burden are largely attributable to modifiable lifestyle factors that are complex and vary between individuals and settings. Traditional approaches to promoting healthy lifestyles have so far had limited success. Recently, co-creating public health interventions with end-users has been advocated to provide more effective and sustainable solutions. The aim of this study was to document and evaluate the co-creation of a public health intervention to reduce sedentary behaviour in older adults.
Design: Community-dwelling older adults (N = 11, mean age = 74 years) and academic researchers attended 10 interactive co-creation workshops together.
Setting: Workshops took place on university campus and the co-creators completed fieldwork tasks outside the workshops.
Method: Workshops were informed by the Participatory and Appreciative Action and Reflection methodology. Data were collected using field notes, video recording and worksheet tasks. Analysis was conducted using a qualitative content analysis approach.
Results: The co-creators developed a tailored intervention delivered through a mode congruent with older adults’ lives. Key elements of the intervention included (1) education on sedentary behaviour, (2) resources to interrupt sedentary behaviour, (3) self-monitoring, (4) action planning and (5) evaluating the benefits of interrupting sedentary behaviour.
Conclusion: Co-creation is a feasible approach to develop public health interventions; however, it is limited by the lack of a systematic framework to guide the process. Future work should aim to develop principles and recommendations to ensure co-creation can be conducted in a more scientific and reproducible way. The effectiveness and scalability of the intervention should be assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-608
Number of pages14
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number5
Early online date24 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • sedentary behaviour
  • sitting
  • co-creation
  • physical activity
  • intervention
  • older adults


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