General benefits • Minimal equipment required (special poles) • Enjoy the countryside • Walk alone or in small groups • Social, meet new people • Gadget factor – motivational • Use of poles creates stability • Poles redistribute effort (to the upper body) • Learn a new skill • Lead to other activities - x country skiing
Physical benefits • Physical fitness • Body composition • Strength • Mobility notes
Psychological Benefits • Brain training (cross patterning) • Increases endorphin release • Increases muscle relaxation • Improves mood (acute and long term) • Reduces stress levels • Improves self-esteem • Increases opportunity to socialise
Feasibility of Nordic walking as a public health activity Attractive activity for established walkers What about the rest of the public ? Is Nordic walking attractive for beginners and less sporty types?
Aims • Feasibility of recruitmentfor Nordic walking amongst overweight women. • Measure effects of 8 weeks NW & pedometers on physical activity levels, fitness and body composition. • Measure effects of 8 weeks NW & pedometers on physiological parameters
Participants • 46 middle aged women • Slimming world clients • Over weight (average BMI = 30Kg/M2) • Tynedale residents
Study Design • Randomly allocated to control / intervention group • Delayed control group • Intervention - 8 weeks of self regulated walking with use of pedometer PLUS 1 x weekly Nordic walking session • Assessments - pre, post, and 2 months follow up
RCT Timeline A1 Intervention A A2 F A1 Control A2 Intervention B A3 F WK1 WK8 WK16 WK24
Measures • Body weight & waist circumference • PA levels – pedometer counts • Physical fitness – Rockport 1 mile walk • Barrier to physical activity self-efficacy • Self-efficacy for physical activity • Self-esteem • Enjoyment score • Process evaluation • Focus group feedback
Process results • Attendance – 90% • Retention – 87% • All participants were technically competent at ‘health’ level (steps 0-5) many at ‘fitness level (step 5 -10). • Sessions were mainly delivered as planned
Physical measures • Significant changes for experimental groups - reduced body weight, reduced waist circumference, increased V02max and step counts. • No significant changes for control group. • Therefore change must be due to the intervention
Psychological measures • Experimental group – significant changes in all 4 measures of psychological parameters – self-esteem, self-efficacy for PA, barrier self-efficacy and enjoyment. • Control group – changes in all 4 measures, but not significantly different.
Key Feedback from the groups • Enjoyed participating in a new, beneficial form of activity • Liked exercising as a group • Knowing people in the group was key (confident that others would be non-judgemental & supportive) • Loved wearing pedometers daily • Appreciated the support from Instructor and members of the nordic walking groups
2 month follow up data • 58% of people maintained or increased activity levels further • 36% returned to pre – intervention levels of activity • 6% no longer active due to injuries / poor health • Many people had gone onto other forms of activity (swimming with friends) or had joined a gym. • One lady took up x-county skiing • Several people have joined the health walks and exercise on referral • Two ladies have returned to work (as a result of increased confidence gained on the NW course)
Other case studies…. Darlington Doorstep Walks Berwick schools
Darlington Doorstep Walks Claire Glass, 43, referred to Darlington Doorstep Walks by her GP Started Nordic walking March 2010 Fitness and posture changed Self esteem increased Helped reach target weight of 9 stone 12lbs, losing a total of 5 stone 4lbs! Now taken up running and is training to be a Nordic Walking instructor.
Berwick schools Funding via North Country Leisure ( leisure services provider) from NCC Communities for Health pot. Delivered by Shepherds Walks, a private company, on a weekly basis Aim of project was to work with school children during term time and have intergenerational events during holidays, but the project has been such a success that an afterschool club has also been set up (32 parents and children). 2010 = 60 children 2011 = plan to get 200 adults & children involved. Very positive feedback. Main barrier – poles, especially for kids
Nordic Walking - Who’s it for ? • Older adults • Cardiac patients • Obese adults • People with mental health problems • Kids • Injured athletes ………………Any able bodied person If you can walk…….you can Nordic walk
Nordic Walking and WfH We initially thought that Nordic walking would be a progression activity for walkers who wanted more of a challenge. However, evidence suggests that it may also be of use to frail walkers and those with specific joint and back conditions. Several health walk schemes are now combining ordinary walking with Nordic walking and find that this works well.
Additional considerations • Health walks are aimed at beginners • Health walks are free • Additional training for volunteers • notes
How to integrate it with WfH Run separate taster sessions to teach interested walkers the technique. Trained suitable candidates as WfH Volunteer Walk leaders Use those VWLs who are competent Nordic walkers to run Nordic Health Walks. Ensure those walks are only open to walkers who have successfully completed the Nordic walking tasters (issue with a competency card)
What happens next? • If you are interested in knowing more about setting up Nordic health walks, contact Kate or Alison: firstname.lastname@example.org 07810 150936 email@example.com 07799 860481
Lets have a go: Pull on your outdoor gear Collect some poles