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, Cormac Ryan, C. O'Kane, K. Raw, D. Conn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

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)438-443
Number of pages6
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume55
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012

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