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Prev Med. 2012 Nov;55(5):438-43. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.09.005. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

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

Author information

1
School of Health & Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Cowcaddens Road, Glasgow G4 0BA, UK. ceri.sellers@gcu.ac.uk

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.

PMID:
22982948
DOI:
10.1016/j.ypmed.2012.09.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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