Assessing Emotional Expressions During a Cycling-Based Initiative for Older Care Home Residents Using Video-Based Recordings

Ryan Gray, Shana Faraghat, Alan J. Gow

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Objective: Through Cycling Without Age, trained volunteers use specially designed trishaws to provide rides for older adults living in care homes and other supported living environments. Qualitative and quantitative research suggests benefits in terms of improvements in mood and wellbeing. Those studies have predominantly been interviews with participants reflecting on previous rides, or as pre-/post-assessments. The current study assessed emotional experiences using video recordings acquired during participants’ rides. Methods: Twelve older adults (50% female; 67-92 years old (M = 81.8, SD = 7.4)) living in care homes or supported living environments were recruited. During a Cycling Without Age ride, participants were filmed using an action camera mounted on the trishaw. Recordings were rated using the Facial Expression Coding System by two researchers to assess the frequency, duration and intensity of positive and negative emotions. Results: On average, 23.7 positive emotional expressions were observed per ride, significantly higher than negative emotions (0.4). As well as more frequent, positive emotions were observed over a longer duration in total (139.5 seconds vs. 1.3) and rated as more intense (1.9 out of 5 vs. 0.3). Conclusion: The study supported the value of directly assessing emotional responses during this cycling-based initiative, including minimising the input required from participants. The predominantly positive emotional expressions observed were consistent with both qualitative and quantitative assessments of Cycling Without Age, and suggests a potential pathway by which those benefits manifest. Future studies might adopt a triangulated approach, using in-activity monitoring, quantitative assessments and participant reflections.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalGerontology and Geriatric Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 9 Aug 2022


  • care home
  • emotional expressions
  • supported living
  • video-based observation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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