Here are all the answers to the questions you may have about the Talk N Walk campaign and app.
Privacy and off-line use related questions
Do I need to provide any personally identifying information?
No personally identifying information is requested and all data collected through the app is anonymised.
When you first download and open the app, we ask you for a name (this can be a first name, nick-name or completely made up) to personalise the app experience (eg: ‘ Hi XXX, ready to start a Talk N Walk’?). This name can be changed at any time through the app settings (accessed via your user dashboard). It is only saved on your device (not stored online on our servers)
The screenshots below show how your name is requested, how the app uses your name to personalise your experience and how you can easily change it in the app settings (accessed form the user dashboard).
We also ask for your year of birth so we have some understanding of the demographic of our app users. This helps us make the app more relevant to our users, but all data collected is anonymised and not personally identifying.
See the below screenshot for how your year of birth is requested.
Why do you ask for an emergency contact as part of the Talk N Walk app set up?
You are required to input a name and number for an emergency contact (eg: a parent or guardian) you would like to be able to call quickly, from within the app, if you are doing a Talk N Walk and feel unsafe. You can update your emergency contact at any time from the app settings (accessed form the user dashboard). ). It is only saved on your device (not stored online on our servers) so app administrators will never access to this contacts details. It is for you (the user only) to simplify calling someone trusted quickly, if needed, while using the app. In the case of an emergency always contact ‘000’.
See the below screenshots of how this contact is requested and then displayed within the app, at the top of the screen once a Talk N Walk has been started.
Are photos, videos or voice recordings taken or shared through the Talk N Walk app?
The Talk N Walk app does not involve taking or sharing any photos, videos, or voice-recording. There is no use of the camera or microphone.
Is there any sharing of Talk N Walk account information or in-app messaging?
There is no sharing of accounts or in-app messaging. The idea is to organise with a friend when you will go for your Talk N Walk, meet up in person and then bring up the app when you’re ready to start walking.
The app will provide optional challenges and conversation starters you can make use of and it will record the time and distance of your Talk N Walk. At the end you’ll get a summary of your achievement and maybe even unlock some digital stickers.
Are details of my Talk N Walk’s shared with other users or platforms?
The record of any Talk N Walk’s you have taken is only available via your app dashboard and is not shared to any other users or platforms. The app dashboard is where your Talk N Walk stickers are saved and details of any Talk N Walk ‘streaks’ are displayed. You can also see your last Talk N Walk activity log and there is a quick link to the Talk N Walk website for further information and resources.
Does the Talk N Walk app cost anything? Is there any in-app purchasing or advertising?
The Talk N Walk app is FREE to download and DOES NOT include any in-app purchasing or advertising. Its development has been funded by Healthway to support the health and wellbeing or Western Australians.
Does the Talk N Walk app track where I am walking?
No. The app requires your location services (GPS tracking) to be on so that a measure of the distance you have walked can be obtained. The app does not gather or store any data regarding where (ie: the specific locations or suburbs) you are walking.
Do I need an internet connection to complete a Talk N Walk?
You will need an internet connection to download the app to your phone but once it’s downloaded you do not need internet to complete a Talk N Walk.
You do, however, need to have your location services (GPS tracking) switched on so that the app can record the distance you have traveled on your Talk N Walk. The app does not gather or store any data regarding where (the locations) you are walking.
When you are in an area where you have WIFI the Talk N Walk app will automatically connect to upload non-identifiable statistical data regarding your Talk N Walk’s and to check for any new in-app content (eg: stickers, conversation starters or challenges).
Why do I need to have my location services turned on when using the Talk N Walk app?
You need to have your location services (GPS tracking) switched on so that the app can record the distance you have traveled on your Talk N Walk. The app does not, however, gather or store any data regarding your location (ie: where you are walking). We recommend that you select ‘Location services on - while using the app’ when prompted or by going into your phone’s settings.
How do I organise going for a Talk N Walk?
You do not use the app to organise your Talk N Walk. You will need to talk, message or call your friend (separate to using the Talk N Walk app) to arrange where and when you will go for your Talk N Walk.
Once you’ve met up in person and are ready to start walking, bring up the app and start your Talk N Walk. The app will provide optional challenges and conversation starters you can make use of and it will record the time and distance of your Talk N Walk. At the end you’ll get a summary of your achievement and maybe even unlock some digital stickers.
Why was the Talk N Walk app developed?
There have been many programs to try and increase the physical activity of Australian girls. To date, none have of them have been effective in altering the fact that 90% of girls aged 11-14 do not meet the physical activity guidelines.
But did the creators of those programs ever actually ask girls what would help them be more active? Or have they continued to operate in a sport=exercise paradigm?
At Nature Play WA, with funding support from Healthway (through their Innovation Challenge Program), we have been working with a diverse group of 60 girls aged 11-14 on finding a solution to this community health issue. And the result is Talk N Walk.
Talk N Walk leverages girls’ desire, and developmental need, to communicate with friends into positive physical and mental health outcomes through talking and walking together.
The program utilises a simple visually appealing, co-designed app (iOS and Android) to support girls to replace sedentary catch ups with ‘Talk N Walks’ in the park, on the way to school, in their neighbourhoods, or even at the shopping centre.
By being active together, with the support of their friends and family, girls’ wellbeing and sense of belonging and community can be supported as they build a foundation for healthy lifestyles without the requirement to take part in competitive or performative exercise that can be off-putting in these crucial developmental years.
What is Talk N Walk trying to achieve?
Our hope is that users of Talk N Walk will start to normalise going walks with friends - building a foundation for healthier lifestyles where sedentary catch ups are substituted for active ones, where phone calls are made while wandering through the local park, where going for a bushwalk is seen as a great way to spend a day, and where walking to IGA or the bus is perceived as a social opportunity, rather than a chore.
How is Talk N Walk different to other sport and physical activity apps and programs?
What makes Talk N Walk unique is that Nature Play WA is working directly with 11-14-year-old girls to find a physical activity option that suits them and the stage they’re at in life.
Their message is clear. They are telling us that, for many of them, competitive and performative sport and exercise is unappealing during the difficult ‘tween’ and teen years as they become increasingly self-conscious, fear of failure, insecurities around body image emerge. They are also telling us that spending time talking to their friends and peers is incredibly important to them - a fact supported by research.
Talk N Walk focusses on friendships, family and feeling good, not on counting calories, competing or performing and will help re-think and reshape physical activity for healthier, happier Western Australian girls.
What are the key functions of the Talk N Walk app?
Key functions of the Talk N Walk app (V1) were identified through a total of six workshops (Aug - Nov 2021) with sixty 11-14-year-old girls from three WA schools - Central Midlands Senior High School in Moora (a regional town), St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls Junior School, and Mount Lawley Senior High School. These include:
- Honing in on your mood before and after a Talk N Walk;
- Conversation starters and challenges to complete while on your Talk N Walk;
- Setting your own goals, personalising your app theme and colours; and,
- Earning points - which are used to obtain in-app stickers - for time, distance and challenges completed.
Why does the app ask how I’m feeling before and after a Talk N Walk?
App users are asked to select how they are feeling before and after their Talk N Walk to hone-in-on the immediate feel-good response being physically active, rather than focussing on the long-term fitness gains.
Ideally users will come to realise that they can literally ‘walk themselves out of a bad mood’ with studies showing that even a 10 minute walk immediately boosts brain chemistry to increase happiness.
Does walking really count as exercise?
Yes! Often underrated, walking has powerful and wide-ranging health benefits. As reported in the Harvard Medical School Walking for Health publication it helps relieve everyday stresses, clears the mind, boosts your mood, promotes communication, strengthens community, reduces behaviour problems, improves academic performance, and “can have a bigger impact on disease risk and various health conditions than just about any other remedy that’s readily available to you”.
How do I give feedback about the app?
We would love to hear what you think about Talk N Walk. We also want to hear your ideas for additional conversation starters, challenges or new features you would like to see developed over time! Please don’t hesitate to either email us at email@example.com with your thoughts.