Park Use and Park-Based Physical Activity in Low-Income Neighborhoods

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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Routine physical activity is important for everyone, and most urban areas have an infrastructure of neighborhood parks that are intended to serve as a setting for recreation and leisure. However, parks are not used proportionally by all age groups, genders, and socioeconomic groups. This paper explores factors associated with park use by different age and gender groups in low-income neighborhoods in Los Angeles, CA. We found that women’s visits to parks generally centered around children, whereas men’s visits were more likely to be associated with their own physical activity. Barriers for seniors are associated with limited facilities and programming that meet their needs. Park managers should consider park renovations that include social meeting places, comfortable sitting areas, and walking paths to better serve women and seniors.

Cohen, Han, Park, Williamson, and Derose are with RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA.

Address author correspondence to Deborah A. Cohen at dcohen@rand.org.
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