The International Universities Walking Project: Development of a Framework for Workplace Intervention Using the Delphi Technique

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

This paper aimed to use the Delphi technique to develop a consensus framework for a multinational, workplace walking intervention.

Methods:

Ideas were gathered and ranked from eight recognized and emerging experts in the fields of physical activity and health, from universities in Australia, Canada, England, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, and Spain. Members of the panel were asked to consider the key characteristics of a successful campus walking intervention. Consensus was reached by an inductive, content analytic approach, conducted through an anonymous, three-round, e-mail process.

Results:

The resulting framework consisted of three interlinking themes defined as “design, implementation, and evaluation.” Top-ranked subitems in these themes included the need to generate research capacity (design), to respond to group needs through different walking approaches (implementation), and to undertake physical activity assessment (evaluation). Themes were set within an underpinning domain, referred to as the “institution” and sites are currently engaging with subitems in this domain, to provide sustainable interventions that refect the practicalities of local contexts and needs.

Conclusions:

Findings provide a unique framework for designing, implementing, and evaluating walking projects in universities and highlight the value of adopting the Delphi technique for planning international, multisite health initiatives.

Gilson and Brown are with the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Queensland, Australia. Faulkner is with the Faculty of Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. McKenna is with the Carnegie Research Institute, Faculty of Sport and Education, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK. Murphy is with the School of Sports Studies, University of Ulster, Ulster, Northern Ireland. Pringle is with the Carnegie Research Institute, Faculty of Sport and Education, Leeds Metropolitan University, Headingly Campus, Leeds, UK. Proper is with EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Puig-Ribera is with Llicen-ciatura de Ciències de l’Activitat Física i l’Esport, Universitat de Vic, Barcelona, Spain. Stathi is with the School for Health, University of Bath, Bath, UK.