Work Package 3 builds on an existing study called NICOLA 65+ Memory and Thinking Research Study https://www.qub.ac.uk/sites/NICOLA/ConnectedResearchStudies/NICOLA65MemoryandThinkingResearchStudy/ where the team are carrying out detailed cognitive assessments on 1,000 older adult participants.
The SPACE project invites these participants to also wear two devices for seven days to capture more detailed information about how individuals engage with their local environment:
- The first device is an accelerometer, which is used to measure how active participants are. It measures both physical activity and how energetic this movement is, as well as when a person is sedentary (sitting or not moving)
- The second device is a GPS monitor, which can identify the location of a participant using satellites
This is useful information to combine because we can then identify an individuals’ activity space, which is the local area that an individual moves or travels through during their daily life. From this, we can categorise specific types of places, such as green space, a pavement, or home. We can identify types of travel, such as walking or driving, as well as the amount of time spent indoors versus outdoors.
We also invite participants to carry out an eye test, to identify their clarity of vision, as well as how easily they can differentiate between light and dark. We can use this data to assess if there are any relationships between the amount that someone is active and their vision.
Combined with the cognitive health data from the NICOLA 65+ Memory and Thinking Research Study and urban environment data from Work Package 3, we can explore patterns and relationships between participants’ urban environment and their cognitive health.
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