Perceptions of Group-Based Walks and Strategies to Inform the Development of an Intervention in Retirement Villages: Perspectives of Residents and Village Managers

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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The aim of the current study was to explore perceptions of group-based walking and gather suggestions to inform the development of a group-based walking intervention among older adults in retirement villages. Twenty-four physically inactive residents (16 female, 8 male; age range: 69–88) and four managers from four retirement villages were interviewed. Inductive thematic analysis revealed six broad themes: lack of motivation, values versus constraints, fears and confidence, need for structure, creating a sense of belonging, and the physical environment as a double-edged sword. Proposed intervention strategies included using trained walk leaders, using small groups, planning for flexibility, setting attainable goals, creating a routine, creating opportunities for sharing experiences, and planning a variety of walks. Group-based walking programs may be used to promote physical activity but careful planning of such programs is needed to make them appealing and feasible to a diverse group of residents.

Thøgersen-Ntoumani, Ntoumanis, Uren, and Wold are with the Health Psychology & Behavioural Medicine Research Group, School of Psychology and Speech Pathology, Curtin University, Perth, Australia. Stathi is with the Department for Health, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom. Hill is with the School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Curtin University, Perth, Australia.

Address author correspondence to Cecilie Thøgersen-Ntoumani at c.thogersen@curtin.edu.au.