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Walking in the high-rise city: a Health Enhancement and Pedometer-determined Ambulatory (HEPA) program in Hong Kong

Authors Leung AYM, Cheung MKT, Tse MA, Shum WC, Lancaster BJ, Lam CLK

Received 16 April 2014

Accepted for publication 9 May 2014

Published 18 August 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 1343—1352

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S66351

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Angela YM Leung,1,2 Mike KT Cheung,3 Michael A Tse,4 Wai Chuen Shum,5 BJ Lancaster,1,6 Cindy LK Lam7

1School of Nursing, 2Research Centre on Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, 3Centre on Research and Advocacy, Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, 4Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, 5Sheng Kung Hui Holy Carpenter Church Social Services, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People’s Republic of China; 6School of Nursing, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA; 7Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People’s Republic of China

Abstract: Due to the lack of good infrastructure in the public estates, many older adults in urban areas are sedentary. The Health Enhancement and Pedometer-Determined Ambulatory (HEPA) program was developed to assist older adults with diabetes and/or hypertension to acquire walking exercise habits and to build social support, while engaged in regular physical activity. This study aimed to describe the HEPA program and to report changes in participants’ walking capacity and body strength after 10-week walking sessions. A pre- and postintervention design was used. Pedometers were used to measure the number of steps taken per day before and after the 10-week intervention. Upper and lower body strength, lower body flexibility, and quality of life were assessed. A total of 205 older adults completed the program and all health assessments. After the 10-week intervention, the average number of steps per day increased by 36%, from 6,591 to 8,934. Lower body strength, upper body strength, and aerobic fitness increased significantly after 10 weeks, along with improvement in the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF™-12) physical and mental health component summary scores. A social support network was built in the neighborhood, and the local environment was utilized to make walking possible and enjoyable.

Keywords: physical activity, Chinese, pedometers, social support, quality of life, older adults

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