Method for Observing pHysical Activity and Wellbeing (MOHAWk): validation of an observation tool to assess physical activity and other wellbeing behaviours in urban spaces

Jack Benton, Jamie Anderson, Margaret Pulis, Sarah Cotterill, Ruth Hunter, David French

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Direct observation of behaviour offers an unobtrusive method of assessing physical activity in urban spaces, which reduces biases associated with self-report. However, there are no existing observation tools that: (1) assess other behaviours that are important for people’s wellbeing beyond physical activity; (2) are suitable for urban spaces that typically have lower numbers of users (e.g. amenity green spaces) or that people pass through (e.g. green corridors); and (3) have been validated in Europe. MOHAWk (Method for Observing pHysical Activity and Wellbeing) is a new observation tool for assessing three levels of physical activity (Sedentary, Walking, Vigorous) and two other evidence-based wellbeing behaviours (Connect: social interactions; Take Notice: taking notice of the environment) in urban spaces. Across three studies, we provide evidence that MOHAWk is reliable and valid from 156 hours of observation by six observers in five urban spaces in the UK. MOHAWk can be used in policy or practice (e.g. by local authorities or developers), or in more formal institutional based research projects. This new tool is an inexpensive and easy-to-use method of generating wellbeing impact evidence in relation to the urban physical or social environment. A manual providing detailed instruction on how to use MOHAWk is provided.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCities and Health
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Physical activity
  • wellbeing
  • measurement
  • systematic observation
  • urban spaces

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