Walking, sustainability and health: findings from a study of a Walking for Health group.

GRANT, Gordon, MACHACZEK, Kasia, POLLARD, Nick and ALLMARK, Peter (2016). Walking, sustainability and health: findings from a study of a Walking for Health group. Health and Social Care in the Community. (In Press)

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Abstract

Not only is it tacitly understood that walking is good for health and wellbeing, there is now robust evidence to support this link. There is also growing evidence that regular short walks can be a protective factor for a range of long-term health conditions. Walking in the countryside can bring additional benefits, but access to the countryside brings complexities, especially for people with poorer material resources and from different ethnic communities. Reasons for people taking up walking as a physical activity are reasonably well understood, but factors linked to sustained walking, and therefore sustained benefit, are not. Based on an ethnographic study of a Walking for Health group in Lincolnshire, UK, this paper considers the motivations and rewards of group walks for older people. Nineteen members of the walking group, almost all with long-term conditions, took part in tape-recorded interviews about the personal benefits of walking. The paper provides insights into the links between walking as a sustainable activity and health, and why a combination of personal adaptive capacities, design elements of the walks and relational achievements of the walking group are important to this understanding. The paper concludes with some observations about the need to reframe conventional thinking about adherence to physical activity programmes.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: 10.1111/hsc.12424
Depositing User: Katarzyna Machaczek
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2016 11:13
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2017 22:38
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/14280

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