Thank you for your interest in the ecofit study.

This study is conducted by the Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition at the University of Newcastle, in partnership with Lake Macquarie City Council and Newcastle City Council. Funding is provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.

ecofit is an evidence-based intervention to increase physical activity levels through the use of local parks and facilities, along with an app and a group training session.

This project will investigate the effectiveness of ecofit and extent to which the program can be used by the general adult population to positively influence population health. This will assist in the future design of services provided by local government Councils.

Who can participate in the research?
Adults aged 18 to 80 who express an interest in using the park for physical activity purposes.

Further study eligibility criteria include:
1) not meeting aerobic and/or resistance training public health guidelines;
2) access to a smartphone; and
3) required to pass the Adult Pre-exercise Screening Test (by answering questions about your health).

Participants involved in the study will complete the following assessments at three time-points (baseline, 3-months, and 9-months post baseline).
· Physical activity will be measured using a pedometer which will be worn by participants for 7 consecutive days.
· Aerobic fitness will be measured using the step test (this test will require you to step and down on a step for 3 minutes).
· Muscular fitness will be measured using the chair stand test (lower body) and push-up test (upper body).
· Weight and height will be measured.
· Body composition scan. This test will require you to undergo a full-body scan by laying down on the scan bed whilst the scan arm moves up and down your body. This test will only take approx. 5 minutes to complete and will be conducted by a qualified staff member.
· Demographic and health characteristics, along with attitudes towards physical activity will be assessed by a questionnaire.

Following the first measurement session (baseline), all participants will be randomly allocated to one of the two study groups.

Group 1: "ecofit" Group
This group will have access to ‘Fixed’ and/or ‘Trail-based’ (i.e., walking running trail with activity stations installed along it) outdoor fitness equipment which will be installed in the park locations.

The ‘App’ will be provided to participants to use over the study duration period to support their physical activity. The App includes ecofit physical activity challenges, goal setting, monitoring of physical activity, cognitive challenges, and prompts. Weekly reminders and prompts over the course of the study will be sent via App messages.

One, 90-minute group session with a qualified Physical Activity behaviour change specialist to educate participants on: 1) how to perform the correct techniques ; 2) how to access and use the ecofit App; and 3) provide opportunities to develop physical activity social networks with other adults in the prgoram.


Group 2: The "Wait-list" Group
This group will have access to the outdoor fitness equipment (‘Fixed’ and/or ‘Trail-based’) as described above. However, this group will not have access to the ecofit App and will not receive the personal 90-minute instruction until the end of the study.