Challenges and lessons learnt from the ENJOY project: recommendations for future collaborative research implementation framework with local governments for improving the environment to promote physical activity for older people

Pazit Levinger, Jeremy Dunn, Maya Panisset, Briony Dow, Frances Batchelor, Stuart J.H. Biddle, Gustavo Duque, Keith D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The physical environment has been shown to have a positive effect on the promotion of physical activity of older people. Outdoor environments that incorporate specialised exercise equipment suitable for older people are uniquely placed to promote physical activity and social connectedness amongst older people. The ENJOY project included the installation of specialised outdoor exercise equipment (the Seniors Exercise Park) and the delivery of a physical and social activity program for older people as part of a prospective pre-post research design. The installation of the specialised equipment in public sites and an aged care facility was also aimed at increasing usage of the equipment by older people from the wider community and to increase physical and social activities. Method: A conceptual framework for implementation and several engagement methods were utilised to guide the research and to support the participating partners throughout the project. This paper is a reflective narrative describing the collaborative process and approach utilised to engage local governments and community, and reports the challenges and the lessons learnt to inform future strategies for implementation. Results: The conceptual framework for the implementation process that guided the conduct and delivery of the ENJOY project included the core elements of the Interactive Systems Framework and the ecologic framework. These models incorporate elements of research-to-practice and community-centred implementation to accommodate the unique perspectives of a range of stakeholders. Conclusion: Partner characteristics such as local governments’ structure and policy as well as community factors can impact on implementation. Partnership with local governments with effective communication, strategic planning and community and seniors engagement approaches are recommended for successful implementation. The lessons learnt can further assist public health research design around changes to the built environment to positively impact on older people’s physical activity levels. Trial registration: Trial registration number ACTRN12618001727235. Date of registration 19th October 2018,

Original languageEnglish
Article number1192
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Implementation
  • Older people
  • Outdoor
  • Physical activity
  • Seniors Exercise Park

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