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Texas A&M Health Study


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#61 georeyna

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 12:28 PM

if every cache, it's going to be a lot of work to keep track of steps between each. Trying to remember to and then actually recording the info.

Hey, this will help me keep track of all the circles I am walking trying to find *Senior Moment*!!  :P



#62 HoustonControl

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

In all the materials I've gotten, including the emails and letter of instructions that came with the kit, the only place it might infer that they are interested in the number of steps for each cache is in the record booklet, where each record square has a spot for the cache ID #.  I think the designers of the study might be under the impression that people go caching for one cache per trip, not go all day and find 100.  Nowhere do they specifically say to break down each caching trip by the number of steps walked for each cache.  The instructions simply say, "Please use the pedometer when you go geocaching and record the number of steps you walked in the record book."

 

I sent an email to Monica for clarification.


Edited by HoustonControl, 29 January 2013 - 09:25 PM.

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#63 jackrock

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:14 PM

In all the materials I've gotten, including the emails and letter of instructions that came with the kit, the only place it might infer that they are interested in the number of steps for each cache is in the record booklet, where each record square has a spot for the cache ID #.  I think the designers of the study might be under the impression that people go caching for one cache per trip, not go all day and find 100.  No where to they specifically say to break down each caching trip by the number of steps walked for each cache.  The instructions simply say, "Please use the pedometer when you go geocaching and record the number of steps you walked in the record book."

 

I sent an email to Monica for clarification.

 

I'll be looking forward to what you find out.  I was dismayed when I saw that it's set up per individual cache which means resetting that thing after every cache.  That will become very old very fast when doing a series or a lot of caches.  I was thinking it would be more the total for the caching trip rather than per cache.



#64 2katz

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 06:40 PM

HC - thanks for sending a note for clarification re: one log per cache or one log per daily outing. I was going to do the same, but will wait for your reply.


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#65 HoustonControl

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 07:27 PM

Hmmm I need to see if GSAK can add steps per day to my FindStatGen output!


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#66 cachestacker

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

Thanks for confirming HC.  I figured I'd list the first cache I went for on my outing and log all steps during the outing.  But I'm sure they don't know exactly what they want to begin with.... 


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#67 Mr Muddy Buddy

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 10:29 PM

I think what it means, is that participants in the GEAR study will be limited to only finding 1 cache per outing.  

It's encouragement to start and maintain a daily steak.....1 cache per day, for 1 year.

The way I see it, each day will require more steps to find the next cache further away from home.

 

O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0  O0


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#68 Team Troglodyte

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 04:53 AM

A group of Texan researchers has stepped up to the challenge of conducting the first study into geocaching’s physical benefits.

This week, the Center for Community Health Development at the Texas A&M Health Science Center recruited 1000 Americans aged 18 and over to investigate just how physically active they are whilst searching for smileys.

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Monica Wendel

Volunteers are being given a pedometer to track their geocaching-related footsteps over a 12-month period, and, upon filling out a series of monthly questionnaires, will be rewarded with trackables.

Head researcher Monica Wendel says the Geaching for Exercise and Activity Research (Gear) study grew out of another project the center was working on with a rural Texas community, identifying ways for families with children to be physically active for little money.

“That was our introduction to geocaching, and then we discovered that no published research exists (that we could find) studying the extent to which geocaching is used for physical activity.”

Although the study itself will make great strides into geo-research, for the CCHD team involved, it will require baby steps.

Wendel explains: “We are not experts in geocaching by any stretch. Since the precursor to this project is what introduced us to geocaching, it’s our first rodeo … But we are thrilled to be learning about it and look forward to the opportunities we have to do it (for research and for fun).

“Being on a college campus, I was really surprised to see how many caches there are within walking distance of my office.  We may have to make some office team-building activities out of finding them.”

Until then, though, she and her team will be busy cajoling the geocachers involved to log not just their finds but also their workouts. “As an exploratory study, we just want people to do what they normally do and then tell us about it.  The only difference is that we’re giving them a pedometer to track their steps and a passport book to record other details they might not otherwise pay attention to, such as how long they spend finding a cache. They will receive email surveys once a month to tell us about their geocaching experiences.”

After completing six surveys, participants will earn a trackable.  If they complete all 12 questionnaires, they will receive a second limited-edition TB, Wendel says. “We anticipate potentially 400 geocachers will actually make it to that point, but we’re hoping they will surprise us with more.”

Originally the study was to involve 500 American geocachers over two years but she admits they underestimated the sport’s popularity. “Between our partners at Texas Parks & Wildlife and Geocaching.com, they managed to get us more than 500 in the first week.  So, now we’re having to limit participation to the first 1000 registrants who give us complete information.”

When Wendel spoke to It’s Not About The Numbers yesterday, she knew their numbers were close to the 700 mark – “but that was before Geocaching.com posted on their Facebook page again this evening”. The project has since reached its maximum target and the online questionnaire is no longer available.

All up, the Gear study will run for 18 months, though the participants will only provide data for the first year. The remaining six months will be used by the center’s researchers for data analysis, interpretation, and reporting.

Wendel says the completed data will reveal to what extent geocaching can be classified as a form of physical activity.  “We are hoping to document some currently unpublished information about geocaching, such as how much variability there is in the activity levels based on geographic location, age, season of the year, etc.”

Their full results will be published in scientific journals, while “more user-friendly” summary reports will be posted online at Facebook, GC.com and the Texas Parks & Wildlife website in May 2014. “Given that nothing has been published, we don’t really have any specific expectations, but we are really excited about what we can learn from this.”



#69 HoustonControl

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 07:45 AM

In my email to her I mentioned that we sometimes find caches by bike or kayak.  I'm not sure if that will be something they want to know about or not.


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#70 Baytown Bert

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:12 AM

You reckon I should send her the links to my videos showing us in GBP and kayaking?


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#71 cachestacker

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 10:59 AM

You went kayaking in GBP?


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#72 Baytown Bert

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 11:04 AM

I've been working out...


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#73 Muddy Buddies

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:27 PM

I actually saw someone kayaking in GBP when it was flooded awhile back.  


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#74 HoustonControl

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Posted 30 January 2013 - 09:42 PM

I'm pretty sure Bert did the CLAPS series on rollerblades too.  I'm just sayin'!


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#75 HoustonControl

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:00 AM

I got this reply this morning from Whitney Garney at the GEAR Study:
 
 
Hi Mr. Houston,
 
Thank you for your participation in the Geocaching for Exercise and Activity Research (GEAR) Study! The record booklet for your convenience in tracking the number of steps you walk while geocaching. We are only asking you report the number of steps you walk each time you go geocaching on the monthly surveys. We are looking for the number of steps you take on each geocaching trip, not for each cache find. Sorry for the confusion. If you have any other questions, please email me.
 
Whitney

 
 
The underlined emphasis was hers, not mine.

Edited by HoustonControl, 31 January 2013 - 10:05 AM.

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#76 Baytown Bert

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:47 AM

Well then, I'm back in.  LOL


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#77 TXDinoTrax

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

I got this reply this morning from Whitney Garney at the GEAR Study:
 
 
Hi Mr. Houston,
 
Thank you for your participation in the Geocaching for Exercise and Activity Research (GEAR) Study! The record booklet for your convenience in tracking the number of steps you walk while geocaching. We are only asking you report the number of steps you walk each time you go geocaching on the monthly surveys. We are looking for the number of steps you take on each geocaching trip, not for each cache find. Sorry for the confusion. If you have any other questions, please email me.
 
Whitney

 
 
The underlined emphasis was hers, not mine.

Great to know!  But I'm also wondering about biking.  When I take a day off of work and my husband and I cache, we prefer to ride bikes if possible.  It's less steps, but I'm still getting exercise.  I wish they'd give us a sample survery so we'd know what to expect.  When we took the survey to sign up, it asked all sorts of questions about activity levels and exercise.  I wonder if the monthly surveys are going to be similar?  Maybe we'll have to account for vigorous activity outside of caching?   



#78 HoustonControl

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:00 PM

In my email, I asked about biking and kayaking, but her reply didn't address it.
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#79 Baytown Bert

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:48 PM

Extrapolate.


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#80 2katz

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:47 PM

Thanks HC.  Too bad she's not answering specific questions.  Maybe I'll inquire about the biking and see what she says - and when we're in the yaks, you burn up energy also!   There's more than just walking to the geocaching thing!!


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