Development of a community-based outdoor physical activity promotion program in older adults 65+


As any engagement in physical activity (PA), outdoor PA has direct beneficial health effects on muscle strength, motor skills or cardiorespiratory fitness. Outdoor PA also has indirect effects that are not attributed to the physical movement alone, including higher vitamin D levels, mental well-being and raised emotional scores through exposure to sensory engagement. The direct impact of the PA environment shows in EEC readings. In a recent study, older adults who were physically active at least once a week outdoors showed higher levels of PA compared with those who were physically active indoors only. Outdoor PA gives the opportunity for social interaction and does not require sports facilities.
The success of PA promotion programmes is heterogeneous, and depends amongst others on the type of intervention and presence of a methodological framework for the development of the intervention. Community-based participatory frameworks (CBPR) show great potential for PA interventions as they involve the community, especially if they follow an ecological model. CBPR have been previously shown to be effective for work-related health promotion, and they are useful to reduce health disparities. Experience with CBPR in the development of PA promotion programmes in older adults is limited.


The central aim of the subproject is to promote outdoor physical activity (PA) in older adults (aged >=65 years). Specific aims of the subproject are:

  • To assess prevalences and associations of individual and environmental key factors regarding outdoor PA in older adults.
  • To identify factors predisposing, enabling and reinforcing outdoor PA in older adults.
  • To develop, implement and evaluate a health programme for promoting outdoor PA in older adults.
  • To investigate possibilities for the transfer of the developed programme into other communities.


Work programme

We will follow a CBPR approach using a PRECEDE-PROCEED model (PPM). The PPM is a framework that helps identifying specific intervention targets, allows integration of individual and environmental factors, and includes consideration of organisational, administrative and policy aspects that might hinder or support the practical implementation of the programme. The developed PA promotion programme will subsequently be implemented and evaluated (impact, process, and outcome) and prerequisites for transferability will be investigated (see Box).


Research team

PD Dr. Karin Bammann, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP) (Head of Project)
Hartmut Manthey, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)
Lena Lübs, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)
Imke Stalling, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)
Carina Drell, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)
Prof. Dr. Ansgar Gerhardus, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)
Prof. Dr. Henning Schmidt-Semisch, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)


Dr. Karin Bammann
Phone: +49 421 218-68873
Email: bammann(at)uni-bremen.de

Here you can see the flyer about the promotion week in Hemelingen, 13 - 17 September 2015.

Further information: http://www.uni-bremen.de/de/buten-aktiv.html