Development of an observation tool for measuring physical activity and wellbeing in urban spaces: MOHAWk
ISPAH ePoster Library. Benton J. Oct 16, 2018; 225384
Jack Benton
Jack Benton
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Abstract
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Abstract Introduction:<\b>
Systematic observation of behaviour offers an objective method of measuring physical activity and other indicators of wellbeing. However, existing observation tools (e.g. SOPARC) are: (a) only suitable for assessing physical activity (and not other aspects of wellbeing); (b) only suitable in large outdoor environments that attract high numbers of users (e.g. regional parks); and (c) have not been validated outside the US.Method: We developed MOHAWk (Method for Observing pHysical Activity and Wellbeing): an observation tool for assessing three levels of physical activity intensity (sedentary, walking and vigorous) and two other evidence-based behavioural indicators of wellbeing (connecting with others and taking notice of the environment). Six observers have used MOHAWk to conduct observations in four sites in Manchester (a park, an urban square and two tree-lined streets) and one site in Belfast (an urban square) across four studies (200 hours of data). Results:<\b>
High inter-rater reliability has been established between pairs of observers (ICCs > 0.8). There is preliminary evidence of criterion-related validity, with observed behaviours being patterned in line with hypotheses (e.g. more people taking notice in environments rated as having higher-quality green space). Observing four hours a day, two days a week was found to provide reliable estimates of counts of people and their activity. Conclusion:<\b>
MOHAWk is a reliable and feasible observation tool for measuring physical activity and wellbeing in urban spaces, which overcomes issues of response rates and subjectivity associated with self-reported measures. We are now using MOHAWk in two natural experimental studies in Manchester.
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