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 wellbeing 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 programs 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 intervention 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 programs 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:

  • The development, implementation and evaluation of a PA promotion program for older adults.
  • Investigation of efficacy of the short track PRECEED-PROCEED model (PPM) developed in the first funding phase in random communities.
  • Strengthening the evidence base for preventive PA in the context of healthy ageing including individual and contextual factors enabling PA interventions among older adults.
  • To identify factors predisposing, enabling and reinforcing outdoor PA in older adults.

Results of the first funding phase

  • Application and further development of participatory and ecosystem approaches on community level
  • Identification of motives and barriers regarding physical activity in older adults using qualitative and quantitative methods
  • Determining prevalences and associations of intraindividual, individual and community-related key factors regarding physical activity in older adults

Work programme of the second funding phase

In the second funding phase, we will follow a CBPR approach using the short track PPM to develop an intervention program. The short track PPM is a framework that helps identifying specific intervention targets, allows integration of individual and environmental factors, and includes consideration of organizational, administrative and policy aspects that might hinder or support the practical implementation of the program. The developed PA promotion program will subsequently be implemented and evaluated (impact, process, and outcome).

Research team

PD Dr. Karin Bammann, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP) (Head of Project)
Imke Stalling, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)
Carina Drell, Institute for Public Health und Nursing Research (IPP)


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

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