Project Details

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

Duration: 01.02.2015 - 31.01.2018
Research Team:

PD Dr. Karin Bammann (Projektleitung);


Emre Baygin;


Carina Drell;


Prof. Dr, Ansgar Gerhardus;


Martina Gerken-Stüdemann, B.A.;


Jaqueline Kippnich;


Lena Lübs, MA;


Renke Lührsen;


Hartmut Manthey;


Dr. Kati Mozygemba;


Dr. Jenny Peplies (Projektleitung);


Max Schierhorn;

Project Type: Third-party funded project



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.

Project objectives

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 program for promoting outdoor PA in older adults.
  • To investigate possibilities for the transfer of the developed program into other communities.


Work program

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 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) and prerequisites for transferability will be investigated (see Box).