“Footprints in the park”
Active ageing, play, health promotion and wellness tourism. The first pilot study with a group of elderly people in the Paneveggio Park - Pale di San Martino, in Trentino has been completed
“I am a couch potato. I am a TV addict, so every night I go out and take a walk because I understand that it is good for you! And actually, I miss it if I don’t. ” Annamaria, a participant in the project, confesses.
“In the evening, my husband takes out the garbage for me” – Ornella says amusedly – “and tells me “This way I am of help and at the same time I reach my steps target” “.
“Even taking out garbage becomes fun”, adds Cesare, a local elder.
These are some of the stories gathered on August 30, 2018 in the Villa Welsperg Park, in the Primiero Valley, Trentino, shared by a group of elderly people who, wearing a step-counting activity trackers on their wrists, their cell phones handy and wearing sneakers on their feet, challenged each other in a hunt with riddles and quizzes along a 13-stop trail immersed in the wonderful park of the Trentino Dolomites.
The ingredients of the “Impronte nel parco” (footprints in the park) project, which from May to September 2018 involved a group of students of the University of the Third Age and of Tempo Disponibile of Primiero, were successfully combined by FBK researchers of the eHealth team and by the experts of the Paneveggio Park – Pale di San Martino.
The goal of this study was to create trails for geocaching (a sort of treasure hunt based on outdoor exercise and the use of ICT technologies) in the Villa Welsperg Park, letting the elderly connect, with a view to promoting healthy lifestyles and active ageing, through gamification and the use of digital technologies.
In order to win, the members of the two teams – the “Marmots” and the “Squirrels” – had to use a smartphone on which a geolocation App had been installed to hide or find real or virtual objects, find the cache treasures/stages) scattered throughout the trail and solve riddles about the nature and the history of the area. The contest points collected by providing positive answers to the questions were added to the steps taken during both the treasure hunts, and the daily activities of the elderly, and counted thanks to the activity tracking wristbands provided to each participant and monitored through the “TreC Passi” App “(developed by the FBK researchers).
The project has also been conceived as a disease prevention and health education program. In fact, at Villa Welsperg, participants had the chance to listen to the precious advice on healthy nutrition and on the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It was delivered by Dr Pirous Fateh Moghadam of the Department of Health and Social Solidarity of the Province of Trento who said: “Health is not simply the absence of disease. It is defined instead as physical, mental well-being – both the body and the mind must be healthy – it is social well-being as well”. “This geocaching project can be very useful for families with children as well, as, while playing, young children discover places of interest by answering riddles and have fun while exercising”.
The trails created by park officers and tested by the elderly can now be used by future park visitors.
“Impronte nel parco“, a result of the experience gained in 2017 with the “Fingerprints” project, which is part of a series of initiatives aimed at promoting health and healthy lifestyles promoted by the digital health competence center “TrentinoSalute4.0” that includes the Department of Health and Social Solidarity of the Province of Trento, the Province Healthcare System and Fondazione Bruno Kessler.
Watch the videos:
mages and interviews: Marco Dianti (FBK/TrentinoSalute4.0)
Direction, editing and voice-over: Marzia Lucianer (FBK / TrentinoSalute4.0)