University Of Tasmania

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Pushing through the barriers: peer advice to increase physical activity and reduce dementia risk from participants in a massive open online Alzheimer’s focused course

Background Engagement in physical activity is associated with reduced dementia risk but insufficient physical activity is a global trend.

Objectives We aimed to explore what advice might be offered to others to increase physical activity and to identify enablers and barriers to physical activity for adults interested in dementia prevention and participating in a massive open online course.

Participants Two thousand, one hundred and thirty-two participants contributed to an online discussion forum.

Design Analysis was conducted using Topic modelling analysis followed by thematic analysis.

Results The themes generated from the discussion posts included time constraints, poor health and lack of motivation as barriers to physical activity, and social interaction, incidental activities, and dog ownership as enablers. Peer advice was frequently suggested around scheduling physical activity into the day and joining a friend or organised activity.

Conclusion This online discussion forum uniquely captured ideas from a large, diverse group of participants. Future research may benefit from further examining the role of discussion forums and peer advice in dementia risk reduction initiatives.


Publication title

The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease






Wicking Dementia Research Education Centre


Editions S E R D I

Place of publication


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Prevention of human diseases and conditions

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    University Of Tasmania