Walk With Ease UK

Walk With Ease UK

01 March 2017 to 28 February 2019 

Funder: Arthritis Research UK

More information can be found, here.

In total, 149 adults aged 18-90 with arthritis and/or musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions from Aberdeen took part in the Walk with Ease UK study. The aim of the study was to understand whether a walking programme from the United States specifically for people with arthritis/MSK, the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease programme, would be relevant and acceptable in a UK setting.


The majority of people who took part in the study responded to a letter sent by their General Practitioner (GP) in the post. Those who were interested met with members of the study team either received the Walk With Ease UK programme or a physical activity leaflet. Those who received the walking programme could chose to either walk in a group or on their own following a guidebook, at least 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Study participants were also asked to fill out 3 questionnaires and perform select physical fitness tests over the course of the 18 weeks. In addition, 51 participants agreed to take part in an hour-long interview with a researcher. Here, participants shared their experiences of taking part in the Walk With Ease UK study, both what they enjoyed and what they might improve.


Walk With Ease was showcased at a public engagement event held on 27 May 2018 during the University of Aberdeen May Festival.  Background on how Walk With Ease was established in the United States was given by Dr Leigh F Callahan from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA), and Dr Kathryn R Martin (CI) shared preliminary findings from the Walk With Ease UK study to about  60 participants and interested members of the public. The talks were followed by a short walk, as a taster session of Walk With Ease, down the Aberdeen High Street and into the Cruickshank Botanic Gardens – thankfully the day was warm and sunny! Photos from the day can be found in the Photo Gallery Section, below.


The benefits of physical activity (PA) on health are undisputed yet physical inactivity remains a major public health challenge throughout the United Kingdom (UK) and costs the NHS at least £1 billion in direct costs. Despite associated physical and mental health benefits, individuals with arthritis or musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are less active than those without. They often report pain, fatigue, stiffness and activity limitations, which make engaging in and increasing physical activity especially challenging. Walking is a safe, easy, and inexpensive activity that is acceptable in those with arthritis or MSK-conditions, and can be a means for most adults to achieve currently recommended physical activity levels.

Walk with Ease (WWE) is a walking programme developed in the United States specifically designed for arthritis and MSK populations. This Arthritis Foundation programme has been shown to be effective in reducing arthritis-related symptoms and improving physical function when delivered in either a group or self-directed format. Based on this, WWE in a UK (WWE-UK) setting has the potential to increase quality of life through increased physical activity among inactive individuals with arthritis or MSK-conditions resulting in reduced health-related economic costs.

Study Aims

The Walk With Ease UK study is a feasibility study, and has three main aims:

  • To identify and make cultural adaptations to ensure the relevance and adoption of WWE in a UK setting;
  • To examine aspects of recruitment, randomisation, compliance to assessments, extent of data variation, and adherence to activity to inform the design of a future trial of WWE-UK;
  • To explore the perceptions and experiences of WWE among participants and community partners to identify processes implicit in integrating a community-based walking programme

Walk With Ease Study Poster

Study Team
Photo Gallery

Media Coverage


Walk With Ease Study highlighted on the Arthritis Research UK Arthritis Today Magazine spring 2018  https://www.arthritisresearchuk.org/arthritis-information/arthritis-today-magazine.aspx

Community partner Paths for All highlight the Walk With Ease study within their winter Footnotes newsletter Jan 2018


Data Policy

In order to comply with the new GDPR regulations for transparency please note the below text is verbatim from the Health Research Authority Website https://tinyurl.com//yam9hkvm

The University of Aberdeen is the sponsor for this study based in the United Kingdom. We will be using information from you in order to undertake this study and will act as the data controller for this study. This means that we are responsible for looking after your information and using it properly. The University of Aberdeen will keep identifiable information about you for 3 years after the study has finished.

Your rights to access, change or move your information are limited, as we need to manage your information in specific ways in order for the research to be reliable and accurate. If you withdraw from the study, we will keep the information about you that we have already obtained. To safeguard your rights, we will use the minimum personally-identifiable information possible. You can find out more about how we use your information at http://www.abdn.ac.uk/privacy and/or by contacting Iain Gray, University Data Protection Officer.

Contact Us

Mail:               Walk With Ease UK Study

   Epidemiology Group, University of Aberdeen
   Health Sciences Building, Foresterhill
   Aberdeen Scotland AB25 2ZD


Email:              walkwithease@abdn.ac.uk

Phone:           01224 437116