Let’s Take A Walk! Focusing on Women’s Health Through an Online Game

Research Center: The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Location: 301 University Blvd, Galveston, TX 77555
Lead Researcher: Elizabeth J. Lyons, Ph.D., MPH
IRB Committee: This study has been reviewed and approved by the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) Institutional Review Board

About the Study

Are you looking for opportunities to be more active? Researchers are finding digital alternatives that may help older women improve their physical activity. Physical activity, such as walking, has been shown to prevent many adverse health outcomes. Research has shown that maintaining regular walking can reduce the decline of physical and brain function. It can also decrease the risks for major health problems such as heart disease and cancer and improve mood.

This research study aims to investigate whether this online game delivered on Facebook can increase walking among older adult women, making meeting weekly step goals more fun and meaningful. Researchers will be comparing this approach to a standard walking intervention to see if this strategy is effective. This study may provide insight into how to improve motivation for physical activity among older women. 

Why Participate? 

  • Participants may experience improvements in their motivation to increase their daily physical activity.
  • Participants may help other women in the future to become more active through digital alternatives.
  • Participants will be reimbursed up to $75 for attending the 3 follow-up study visits. Reimbursement will only be provided to eligible participants for each follow-up assessment visit they complete and will be provided upon the completion of the study visit.
  • Participants will be able to keep certain study materials such as the Fitbit monitor.
  • Participants will be helping to advance women’s health research.

Your Rights

  • If you decide to participate in the study and later feel that you no longer wish to be part of it, you can withdraw at any time.
  • Any information that you provide will be kept strictly confidential, except as required by law.
  • Qualified health professionals will monitor your health as it relates to the study.

Who Can Participate?

Women who are:

  • Aged 65 to 85 years old who are interested in increasing their physical activity and are able to walk for exercise 
  • Have access to teleconference capability from home (i.e., Skype, Facetime, Zoom or other platforms with smartphone or webcam technology)
  • Have daily access to an iOS (Apple) or Android mobile device capable of taking and sending photos
  • Able to attend 5 study visits at the research site over approximately 18 months. This study will also involve video conferencing, which the study team can further elaborate on. 

Key Study Details:
Participation in this study may include but is not limited to: 

  • Joining a private group on the social media site Facebook that includes other participants in the study and setting up step goals and track steps daily. This will take approximately 15 minutes per day.
  • Taking height, weight measurements and answering questionnaires.
  • Wearing a small device around the waist to measure physical activity. This device is to be worn for 7 days and returned during the next session.
  • Wearing a Fitbit activity monitor on the wrist and downloading a mobile app on to the participant’s mobile device.

About the Research Center:

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

For more than 125 years, UTMB has stood with Texas—training the health care workforce; helping make the state a leader in advancing the understanding and treatment of illness and injury; serving as a major provider of healthcare for Texans and their families, and innovating the future of how care is delivered.

Please note:

Due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, the researchers would like to assure the participants that ensuring the safety of the participants as well as the study staff is of utmost importance.

What’s Next?

  1. Click the link below to enter your contact details and take the study questionnaire.
  2. If eligible, a member of the research team will contact you to discuss the study and answer any questions you may have.
Click Here to Check Your Eligibility for This Study