Take a walk in the park? A cross-over pilot trial comparing brisk walking in two different environments: Park and urban

C.E. Sellers, P.M. Grant, C.G. Ryan, C. O'Kane, K. Raw, D. Conn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: The objective of the present study is to investigate whether differences exist between a 30. minute brisk walk taken in two different environments in order to determine which environment best facilitates current physical activity guidelines: park or urban. Methods: In this randomised cross-over pilot study, participants performed a self-timed 30. minute brisk walk in two different environments, park and urban, in Glasgow, Scotland (October 2009 to January 2010). Cadence, recorded using the activPAL??? activity monitor, was used to measure intensity. Outcome measures were: mean cadence; moderate-to-vigorous physical activity time accumulated in bouts lasting ???10. min; number of walking breaks; and duration. Results: A convenience sample of 40 healthy adults was recruited: 16 males, 24 females, mean age 22.9 (5.5) years. The mean cadence for the whole walk was higher in the park: 119.3 (8.3) vs. 110.9 (8.9) steps/min. Participants accumulated more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in ???10. minute bouts during park walks: 25.5 (9.6) [median (interquartile range)] vs. 14.0 (20.3) min. There was no difference in self-timed duration between locations. Conclusion: Participants accumulated more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity in bouts ???10. min in duration on park walks due to the lack of interruptions in walking. Hence the park environment better facilitated the achievement of current physical activity guidelines. Further research involving a larger, more heterogeneous sample is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438
Number of pages443
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2012

Keywords

  • accelerometer
  • environment
  • physical activity
  • walking

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