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Mindful walking has emerged as a potential intervention strategy to improve mental health and promote well-being in adult and clinical populations. This strategy has not been implemented specifically with older adults to date. This study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, sustainability, and preliminary efficacy of a mindful walking program for reducing negative affect in older adults. Community-dwelling older adults (n = 29) completed a 1-month, outdoor mindful walking program distributed across eight 30-min sessions. Responses from postprogram and follow-up questionnaires revealed that mindful walking was well-accepted, highly valued, and maintained after the program ended. Analysis from the pre- and postwalk surveys also suggested the preliminary efficacy of a mindful walking program for reducing negative affect. Positive results identified in the current feasibility study indicate readiness for randomized controlled trials to further examine the efficacy and effectiveness of a mindful walking intervention for promoting health and well-being in older populations.
Yang and Conroy are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Conroy is also with the Dept. of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.