Feasibility of an Outdoor Mindful Walking Program for Reducing Negative Affect in Older Adults.

Author: Yang CH1, Conroy DE1,2
1a Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
2b Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.
Conference/Journal: J Aging Phys Act.
Date published: 2018 Feb 27
Other: Volume ID: 1-33 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1123/japa.2017-0390. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 160

Mindful walking has emerged as a potential intervention strategy to improve mental health and promote well-being in adult and clinical populations. This strategy has not been implemented specifically with older adults to date. This study evaluated the feasibility, acceptability, sustainability, and preliminary efficacy of a mindful walking program for reducing negative affect in older adults. Community-dwelling older adults (n = 29) completed a one-month, outdoor mindful walking program distributed across eight 30-minute sessions. Responses from the post-program and the follow-up questionnaires revealed that mindful walking was well-accepted, highly-valued, and maintained after the program ended. Analysis from the pre-walk and post-walk surveys also suggested the preliminary efficacy of mindful walking program for reducing negative affect. Positive results identified in the current feasibility study indicate readiness for randomized controlled trials to further examine the efficacy and effectiveness of a mindful walking intervention for promoting health and well-being in older populations.

KEYWORDS: health behavior; healthy aging; mind-body relations; public health promotion

PMID: 29485332 DOI: 10.1123/japa.2017-0390