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.
|Journal||Cities and Health|
|Publication status||Published - 18 Jun 2020|
- Physical activity
- systematic observation
- urban spaces